Summer is considered by many workers to be the most dangerous season of the year. Those that operate outside are at risk of developing heat illnesses. Some companies bring in larger crowds around this time of year and could potentially push their workers too hard. It requires alert and experienced hard workers to ensure that operations go smoothly and safely.
However, summer is also the peak time for many companies to bring in newer and much younger recruits. Many high school and college students are taking summer jobs to pay off their expenses. While an extra set of hands can help speed up a workplace, the inexperience of these workers could present a large risk to you, your coworkers and the teens themselves. As these new employees start settling in, keep these safety tips in mind to avoid any serious incidents.
Know what legal restrictions they should have
New Jersey has outlined what age is legal for minors to begin working at particular jobs. While teen workers in your field are eligible to get the job at their age, they may not be eligible to perform every function at work. This mostly revolves around hazardous materials or machines that may be lying around your workplace.
Your employer will likely warn you about their age, but if they don’t, ask the young worker directly. If they are under 18, learn what machines and hazards are in your work area to advise them to stay away from. You may want to consider putting up signs to warn them not to touch it.
Stay close during the first month
According to OSHA, two of the main reasons why so many young workers get injuries on the job are because of inadequate safety training and supervision. Since companies can get busy quickly in the summer, many of them cut back on giving proper guidance to the younger workers to get the work done faster.
If you think the worker isn’t getting enough mentoring, offer them your assistance and advice when applicable. They might have a lot of questions that you have to respond to, but it’s better that they get the answers as soon as they can for the safety of everyone.
Teens and young adults need to get experience early so they can be proficient at their future jobs, but you need to recognize how much of a risk they can be. If you or anyone receives any serious injuries while teaching the new guy the ropes this summer, make sure you know what options are available for workers’ compensation.