Five Steps Toward Preventing Workplace Injuries Among Young Workers
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According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), every nine minutes, a teenager in the United States is injured on the job. These youth workers – 16-to 24-year olds – as well as seasonal workers, are essential to the workforce, and it’s important they have the necessary training and safety controls to anticipate hazards.
OSHA recommends that employers take the following steps to reduce and prevent workplace injuries among teen and younger seasonal workers:
- Understand and comply with federal and state child labor laws that restrict both the type of work and hours worked by younger employees.
- Provide adequate safety training for younger and less experienced workers, to prepare them for a variety of potentially dangerous situations. Be sure to use language and vocabulary appropriate for a younger audience.
- Encourage young workers to ask questions about procedures that aren’t understood and assign a more experienced employee to mentor the young worker on the job.
- Inspect all equipment operated by young workers, to ensure it is legal and safe for them to use. All equipment not suitable for young employees should be clearly identified and labeled.
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