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Safety Tips | Young workers

Protect your teen workers

October 1, 2011

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Because of their youth and inexperience, extra attention needs to be paid to teen workers, cautions the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health. To help ensure safety, Cal/OSHA recommends:

  • Prior to placing a teen worker in a job, review all job duties and work areas to eliminate potential hazards.
  • Provide teen-friendly training. Make sure that teens fully recognize hazards and are competent in safe work practices.
  • Supervisors must follow up with teen workers to ensure they understand the training and are using proper work procedures.
  • Look for supervisors who are especially attentive or those who communicate well with teens.
    Pair teens with more experienced workers who have demonstrated a commitment to safe work habits. This can be most effective when the experienced worker is only a few years older than the teen.
  • Encourage teens to ask questions about tasks or procedures they do not understand. Bear in mind that teens communicate differently than adults and their decision-making capabilities have not yet fully matured.
  • Ensure equipment operated by teens is both safe and legal for them to use.

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