Protect Young Workers this Summer

YoungWorker_01Most youth find paid employment, either during the summer or year-round, before graduating from high school. Young workers, ages 14-24, 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. OSHA has made young workers a priority within the agency and is committed to identifying ways to improve young worker safety and health. OSHA’s Young Worker Initiative addresses this group’s safety and health through a multi-pronged outreach program.

via Young Workers.

Young Workers – Tips to Stay Safe at Work

Workplace injuries are preventable. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe at work.

  • If you are asked to do a task that you think is unsafe – you have the right to say NO and refuse to do the work.
  • Get some training and learn how to identify hazards, manage risks and do the job safely before you start.
  • Ask your supervisor to watch and check that you are doing the job the right way.
  • Speak up and let supervisors know if you think a task is too dangerous or difficult for you.
  • Ask questions and check with supervisors and co-workers when you aren’t sure or can’t remember how to do a job safely.
  • Learn what to do and where to get help in an emergency.
  • Always follow the safety rules and procedures.
  • Always wear any personal protective equipment provided by your employer.
  • Report all injuries (minor or major), occupational health & safety incidents and near misses.
  • Look out for and report hazards.
  • Keep an eye on your co-workers, especially if they are new to the workplace and don’t know all the occupational health & safety  issues.
  • Try to get a good night’s rest before heading into work. Feeling tired can lead to dangerous mistakes.
  • If you have a safety concern, talk with more experienced workers such as supervisors, co-workers or your family to get some advice.

via Tips to stay safe at work.

Young Worker Safety and Health

In 2010, there were approximately 17.5 million workers less than 24 years of age, and these workers represented 13% of the workforce. Young workers have high occupational injury rates which are in part explained by a high frequency of injury hazards in workplaces where they typically work (e.g. hazards in restaurant settings associated with slippery floors and use of knives and cooking equipment).  Inexperience and lack of safety training may also increase injury risks for young workers. And, for the youngest workers, those in middle and high schools, there may be biologic and psychosocial contributors to increased injury rates, such as inadequate fit, strength, and cognitive abilities to operate farm equipment such as tractors.

via CDC – Young Worker Safety and Health – NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic.