Tips to Keep Young Workers Safe

Who remembers their first job? How fun was it to actually be making your own money and that feeling of independence? It can be one of the most important times in someone’s life. However, depending on the job, the chances of a serious accident happening are greater.

According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), more than 170,000 young workers were injured and 361 were killed at work in 2012. These numbers are shocking in a time when safety should be the number one concern for all businesses. The key to lowering these numbers is education.

Some common ways younger workers can get injured at work are:

  • Lack of proper safety training

  • Working with unsafe equipment and materials

  • Poor or no supervision

  • Being asked to perform tasks that younger workers are unfit for

  • Being pressured to work within un-safe timelines

However, all is not lost. Employers can take steps in making sure they stay on-top of the safety of younger workers. Some steps can include:

  • Comply with all federal and state child labor laws.

  • Establish a mentorship program where experienced workers can help train younger workers about the ins and outs of a new job.

  • Train young workers on proper work practices and how to spot hazards. Ensure to have follow-up training as well to make sure the knowledge was absorbed.

  • Create an environment in which young workers are encouraged to ask questions.

  • Teach young workers what they should do if they do get injured at work and how to properly document any incidents.

  • Ensure younger workers do not use dangerous equipment.

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