The month of May is here. For many, it’s one of the busiest months of the year, especially for families. High School and college graduations, proms, summer vacation planning and summer job-hunting may keep families and teens in constant motion. And while our young people are looking for seasonal work, it is important for parents and teens to take time to be educated to reduce risks of being injured on a summer job.
Most of our teens will seek work in low-wage jobs in retail, hospitality and food service: industries that are notorious for high-turnover and low-levels of training. Youth may also look for higher-paying jobs with higher risk of injury- in areas such as construction. Young people are particularly vulnerable to injury on the job for several reasons. Key factors may include immaturity, lack-of training and experience, enthusiasm to take on unfamiliar tasks, and lack of direct supervision on-the-job.
It is vital for teens with their parents to check the safety record of their potential employer. Parents are advised to coach their teens to speak up if they are uncomfortable in any work setting. Teens also need to be educated on their rights in the workplace- including what they are and are not allowed to do under the protection of child labor laws. This public document issued by the Department of Health and Human Services is a good guide for teens going into the workplace.
Reports say a U.S. teen worker is injured on the job every 9 minutes, and workers under age 25 are twice as likely to end up in the emergency room as workers aged 25 and up. You don’t want your children to be a statistic.
(Source: Dept of Health and Human Services)
Adults, including parents and supervisors, need to work together to keep our young people safe. Proper training and support, including patience for new learners, peer mentoring and safe work conditions are basic components to look for in any summertime job. OSHA’s web page devoted to safe work for teens is a good place to continue learning.
Of equal importance is for families to know the rights of teens if they are injured in the workplace. Seasonal employees including teens are eligible for workers’ compensation in Georgia. For more information on the rights of teens in the workplace and seasonal workers in general, contact The Ramos Law Firm. Ramos Law has been advocating for Georgia’s injured workers for 10 years, practicing 100% workers’ compensation law.