by Jennifer M. McDaniel
IceMiller LLP is an IMA Member
Young workers are not as prepared or experienced as older adults, which places them at a higher risk for injury. In 2014 the rate of work-related injuries treated in the emergency room was 2.18% greater for workers between the ages of 15 to 19 and 1.76% greater for workers between the ages of 20 to 24 than for workers 25 years or older. If you will be employing young workers this summer or taking on some recent high school graduates full-time, it’s important to make sure they stay safe on the job.
- Review and comply with federal, state, and local laws governing minors.
- Train young workers how to perform their jobs safely and prevent accidents. Training should help young workers to develop good safety habits and judgment.
- Use a mentor or buddy system for new young workers.
- Supervisors should closely monitor teenage workers to ensure they follow proper procedures and perform their duties safely.
- Make sure equipment operated by young workers is both legal (state and federal laws restrict work for employees under 18 years of age) and safe for them to use. Be sure to provide required personal protective equipment (PPE) and to assure proper training on the use of PPE.
- Encourage young employees to ask questions and communicate in a manner that is commensurate with their maturity level and experience.
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