For a teenager or young adult, having a job can instill confidence, responsibility, independence – and the extra spending money doesn’t hurt either.
However, a job can also mean risking a work-related accident in Anderson and elsewhere in South Carolina, especially if they’re not knowledgeable about their rights as worker.
There were nearly 18 million workers under the age of 24 in the U.S. in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These younger workers accounted for nearly 15 percent of the workforce during the year.
These young workers have substantially higher work injury rates than their older counterparts. This is at least partially explained by the fact that these workers are often placed in menial or lower-skilled labor jobs, where there are a greater number of hazards present.
Restaurants, for example, are a popular employer of younger workers. In this industry, workers face dangers associated with cooking equipment, knives and slippery floors.
Younger workers are also affected to some extent by inexperience or a lack of training. But it is the duty of the employer to ensure these younger workers are adequately trained and protected from potential injury.
Our Anderson workers’ compensation attorneys understand that the younger a worker is, the more likely they are to face certain obstacles that increase their risks for an accident. Some of these include inadequate strength and cognitive abilities to operate certain equipment.
Our focus here on young workers stems from the fact that they’ll soon be out looking for summer jobs. We’d like to help parents help their teens safe on the job.
In 2009, there were nearly 340 employees under the age of 24 who were killed in work-related accidents. This includes about 30 fatalities among workers who were under the age of 18.
From 1998 to 2007, there were nearly 800,000 injuries to these young workers. Every single one of them wound up in a hospital emergency room. The injury rate for these young workers is actually about twice as high as the rate for workers older than 25.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s South Carolina Edition of TalkingSafety, about 80 percent of teens work by the time they finish high school. Each year, about 53,000 are injured on the job. Unfortunately on-the-job safety is one of the last things on the minds of these young workers. That’s why TalkingSafety is helping these young workers to ask questions and to make demands on their employers. Teen workers should be able to recognize hazards in any workplace, as well as understand how these risks can be mitigated. TalkingSafety is asking parents to talk with their teens about what their rights are as an employee and what they should expect from an employer. Urge your working teen to speak up about dangers and risks that they observe in the workplace. They may be young, but they are still entitled to a safe working environment. Let’s help to protect these workers and help them through another successful summer of work.
Contact the Carolina Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at the Lee Law Offices, P.A. if you or your teenager has been injured in a work accident or needs to file a workers’ compensation or disability claim. We offer free and confidential consultations to those who have been injured at work in North and South Carolina. Call us at 1-800-887-1965 to discuss your case today.
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