More than 2 million teens ranging from 16 to 17 years old are working in the United States. Young workers have many benefits when they work, but it can be risky and dangerous as well. They are further injured at a higher rate compared to adult workers. So, let us discuss more how to know if your young worker’s safety has a purpose or not.
1. Young Worker and Safety
Teens are usually inexperienced and unfamiliar with a lot of tasks needed of them as a new worker. They don’t worry about safety at work and are reluctant to ask any safety questions or demand their employers. Their positive traits such as high energy, increased challenge and responsibility, and elevated enthusiasm can also be a source of risk even if not prepared in terms of safety.
2. Common Health and Safety Hazards
The OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires every employee to be trained about the following hazardous chemicals and other health and safety hazards before starting their work, for example, in a reefer truck rental.
- Safety hazards include slippery floors and hot surfaces that cause immediate accidents and injuries.
- Chemical hazards such as pesticides and other cleaning products harm the body because of vapors, gases, and liquids.
- Biological hazards like bacteria, viruses, and insects cause diseases through contact.
- Sometimes, the less obvious harmful things in the workplace are noise and repetitive movements that injure you or promote sickness.
In every state, there are also child labor laws protecting young workers from working too early, too late, or too long in a company.
3. Emergencies at Work
Since emergencies at work are any unplanned events that harm anyone, advance planning is so essential to reduce the risk of injuries or, worst, death. Conducting regular practice drills in the workplace and discussion of a written Emergency Action Plan must be implemented.
4. Ways to Make the Job Safer
The best way to make the job safer is to remove the hazard from the workplace. If not, those hazards can be kept isolated or away from young workers so that those things won’t hurt anyone. Good safety policies should be implemented in the workplace to reduce exposure to any hazards. And the least effective hazard control way is wearing personal protective equipment or PPE like hard hats, masks, and gloves.
To prevent injuries on the job, the young workers must be adequately trained. A basic understanding is needed to know the workplace hazards, what they must do when their work is not safe, and how to work safely refraining less likely injuries. A priority is also given emphasis to the young workers who are most at risk.