"Young workers ... are at risk of workplace injury because of their inexperience at work and their physical, cognitive, and emotional developmental characteristics. They often hesitate to ask questions and may fail to recognize workplace dangers," according to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
What follows are 10 tips compiled by Texas Mutual Insurance Company to help ensure your teens are safe at work this summer--when thousands of teens enter the workforce--and all year round:
- Familiarize yourself with federal and state labor laws regarding the employment of teens. Studies show that most teen workers and their parents are unaware of the rights of young employees.
- Know the name of your teen's employer, as well as your teen's work address and work phone number.
- Find out what the physical demands are for your teen's job.
- Make sure you know what your teen's work hours are. By law, some teens' workdays are restricted.
- Check out the kind of safety training your teen is receiving at work.
- Be aware of the common workplace injuries among teens, including slips, trips and falls; strains and sprains; chemical exposure; burns and cuts; hearing loss; motor vehicle crashes; electrocution; and machinery malfunctions.
- Learn whether your teen is required to wear safety gear on the job, such as protective goggles and steel-toed boots.
- Discourage your teen from wearing loose clothing or jewelry that could become caught in machinery.
- Remind your working teen to avoid wearing sandals or open-toe shoes, high heels, or shoes made of canvas in restaurants and other places where floors may be slippery or hazardous.
- Be alert for signs of fatigue or stress as your teen tries to balance the demands of work, school, home and extracurricular activities.
Information sources: American Society of Safety Engineers, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Texas Department of Insurance, U.S. Department of Labor.
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SOURCE Texas Mutual Insurance Company