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Help keep your teen worker safe

Photo: kali9/iStockphoto

Does your teen have a job, or are they thinking about it? As parents and caregivers, it’s natural to have concerns about their safety. Talking with them about it can help.

First, you need to stress to your teens that, as workers, they have rights. Employers should provide “safety training using words that teens can understand,” the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health says. They also should:

  • Go over safety precautions and all possible workplace hazards.
  • Give clear instruction for each task, especially unfamiliar ones.
  • Provide hands-on training on the correct use of equipment.
  • Reinforce training.

The #KeepTeenWorkersSafe campaign has more tips for teen workers:

  • Bullying and harassment is never OK. Speak up if you feel uncomfortable, threatened or unsafe at work.
  • Don’t enter any location if you feel unsafe. Use the “buddy system” or ask for an escort, especially when returning to your vehicle at the end of a night shift.
  • Tell your supervisor about any concerns you have about your safety or security.
  • Slips, trips and falls are the leading causes of teen worker injuries. Do your part: Clean spills, move clutter out of walkways and wear rubber-soled shoes.
  • Know the escape routes from your work and where you should go for emergency medical treatment.
  • Ask questions and ask for help if needed.
  • Wear any safety gear required to do your job.

Teens younger than 18 aren’t allowed to perform certain jobs. Learn more at

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