Protect your teen workers
October 1, 2011
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.