Working to Protect Young Employees Over Summer Break and Beyond

Officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are so concerned with the safety of our young workers that they’ve dedicated an entire webpage to this vulnerable group. It’s called “Young Workers: You Have Rights!”
Employers are required under federal law to make sure that all employees are provided with a safe and healthy work place. To achieve these standards, employers are required to make sure that they follow all of OSHA’s safety and health standards. For workers under the age of 18, employers are required to follow specific rules regarding how many hours teens can work, what kind of equipment they’re allowed to use and what kind of work they’re allowed to do.

Our Greensboro workers’ compensation attorneys understand that young workers have rights and we need to make sure that these rights are protected! These young workers have a right to a safe work place, to receive the proper training for the job they’re asked to complete, to be able to ask questions if they don’t understand instructions or if something seems unsafe, to use, be trained and to be offered the proper safety gear and to also exercise their workplace safety rights without the fear or retaliation or discrimination. Our teen workers are urged to file a confidential complaint with OSHA if they think that there is a hazard on the job or if they feel that their employer is not following federal safety standards.

You might want to also offer your teen with some safety tips for how to protect themselves on the job. They’re urged to report any and all unsafe conditions to a shift leader or supervisor, to wear any safety gear that is required to complete the job, to follow any and all safety rules, to ask questions if something is not understood and to ask for help whenever it’s needed.

Common Hazards that Young Workers Face on the Job:

-Stressful work conditions
-Pressure to work faster
-Dangerous work that is illegal or inappropriate for youth under the age of 18
-Inadequate supervision
-Inadequate safety training
-Unsafe equipment use
Young workers are most oftentimes likely to face these hazards while working in some of the most common job positions. These positions include jobs at convenience stores, grocery stores, restaurants, retail shops, food service, fast food joints and in various maintenance, cleanup or janitorial jobs.

From 2003 to 2007, there were more than 300 workers who were under the age of 18 who were killed on the job in the U.S. There were thousands more who were injured. Parents and guardians need to talk with their young ones about the risks and the dangers that they can face on the job in addition to ways that they can address these issues. Knowledge can help to reduce the risks of these accidents and keep our teen workers safe.

If you or your teen worker has been involved in a work accident in Greensboro or elsewhere in the Carolinas, contact the Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Lee Law Offices, P.A. to set up a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-887-1965.

More Blog Entries:

Teens and Risks of Work Accidents in Charlotte and Elsewhere through Summer, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, July 5, 2012

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