Keeping Young Workers Safe on the Job in North Carolina

There are many reasons why young workers are injured or get sick on the job so often.

Most commonly, they work with unsafe equipment, they don’t get the proper supervision, they work under pressure, they perform dangerous work that’s illegal or inappropriate for youth under 18, they work under stressful conditions and they don’t get the right safety training to complete the job.
One of the most important things that we can do in the workplace is make sure that our young ones are safe. Our Rock Hill workers’ compensation lawyers understand that our teenage workers are the future of our workforce and it’s important to keep them safe. In 2010, there were more than 325 young workers killed in the U.S. Another 110,000 of these young workers were injured on the job during the same year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Every 9 minutes, a teenager is injured on the job in the United States.

The truth of the matter is that most workplace accidents are completely preventable. The safety of the workplace is a joint effort between the employer and the employee. Both have key responsibilities in preventing these accidents. But what are these responsibilities?

A Worker’s Responsibilities:

-To work in a safe workspace.

-To get the health and safety training provided in a language that can be easily understood.

-To be able to ask questions, regardless of what they pertain to.

-To be trained on safety gear that is required on the work site. This gear can include ear plugs, goggles and safety hats.

-To exercise your workplace safety rights without fear or the act of discrimination or retaliation.

-To file a complaint if they feel that there is a hazard on the job or a standard that their employer is not following.

An Employer’s Responsibilities:

-To provide a work area that is free of serious and recognizable dangers.

-To follow all of OSHA’s health and safety standards.

-To make sure that all workers are provided with the proper (and required) safety equipment.

-To inform employees of where to get health and safety information/answers.

-To inform workers of what to do if they experience an on-the-job accident.

How Can You Stay Safer on the Job?

-Make sure that you report any unsafe work conditions. Report these concerns to your supervisor/manager/shift leader.

-Be sure that you’re always wearing the required safety equipment.

-Follow all safety rules and regulations.

-Ask questions if you have them!

-If you need help — ASK!

There needs to be open communication between the worker and the employer. Safety is a joint effort and everyone needs to be on board. It’s important that we talk with our younger workers about what they can expect in the workplace and what is expected of them. Start them off with a thorough understanding of this and help them to ensure a safe lifetime of work.

If you or the young worker in your life has been injured in an on-the-job accident, contact the Carolina Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Lee Law Offices, P.A. for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-887-1965.

More Blog Entries:

Contest for New Technology to Inform Young Workers, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, October 22, 2012

Work Accidents and Educating Younger Workers in the U.S., North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, October 14, 2012

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