How to Keep Summer Workers Safe

male and female construction worker with hard hats on pointing

Do you remember your first summer job? Hiring young workers gives the youth opportunities to learn more. They can be a great and spirited addition to your staff. That being said it is important to educate young workers on workplace safety to ensure everyone knows how to stay safe. Here are some resources to help you keep young summer workers safe.

Learn About Young Workers

In the summer, do you add young people to your crew? Young adults can be great additions to the workforce. They are often enthusiastic and eager to learn. But they are also inexperienced and need training and supervision to work well and stay safe. Did you know that:

  • More than 75% of teens have worked by the time they finish high school.
  • Many teens use part-time and seasonal work to learn or improve work skills.
  • On average, three teens die every week due to a workplace injury.
  • Teens are likely to be inexperienced and unfamiliar with many of the tasks they are assigned to work on.
  • Employers are responsible for making the workplace safe for all employees—including teens.
  • Child labor laws prohibit teens from doing dangerous work.

Resources to Read Before Hiring Young Workers

There are many resources you can use to get the information you need about hiring young workers. Here are a few:

  • OSHA’s main resource for young workers has information for young people, their parents, and employers. Access it here.
  • OHSA has partnered with #MySafeSummerJob to help young workers learn about their rights and responsibilities regarding safety. Click here for more information.
  • The Department of Labor has an informative page listing the conditions under which young people can work. You can access it here.
  • For state-specific laws (and more) regarding young people in the workplace, click here.

How To Educate Your New Young Workers

Don’t assume that new workers will ask you questions; you have to start the conversation about safety. Ask all new employees questions to assess their knowledge and skills. All new employees will have to do some learning on the job. Young workers, in particular, will learn a lot by trial and error, but the error part can result in permanent injuries. You have to know what they are doing and how they are learning. You cannot let those kinds of errors happen. Proper training is an investment in their future, your peace of mind, and the long-term safety of the company.

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