School's out and teens are already starting their summer jobs. Whether that's washing dishes, taking tickets and filling popcorn at the movie theater, or life-guarding at the neighborhood pool, a summer job is a rite of passage. But all those young, somewhat inexperienced people flooding the workforce can mean a greater potential for workplace injuries, too. Jim McMillen, Pinnacol’s safety director has some advice on how to make sure your teens stay safe while on the job.
Here are some tips for teens when it comes to workplace safety.
Ask questions about the right way and wrong way to do their work
Ask for help - see if a mentor can show them the ropes and answer questions
If they feel uncomfortable with a task, let someone know
Understand the proper way to report unsafe conditions
How employers can protect their young work:
The most important thing is to help young workers understand that they can be seriously injured on the job. The number one way to prevent that is to provide training on the tasks the worker will be responsible for.
Provide a mentor to show the young worker the ropes and answer questions
Provide the right kind of equipment – e.g. a commercial-grade ladder instead of a wooden step stool or worse, a rolling office chair and talk to them aboutthe right footwear or attire