Protecting Young Workers
Summer’s coming, and many teenagers and young adults will be looking for a summer gig. As an employer, you might be looking for some help. So it’s important for you to know that young workers age 25 and under are at a greater risk for injury than other age groups. In fact, last year, young worker injuries accounted for nearly a quarter of Pinnacol’s claims.
What should you do to protect your young workers from a workplace injury? Here are five things you need to know:
- In addition to your usual safety programs and trainings, make sure that you, as the employer, are going the extra mile to keep young workers safe in the workplace. Many young workers are new to the workforce and may be unfamiliar with workplace hazards, so it’s vital that you provide them with the appropriate supervision, safety training and PPE.
- Many young workers may be afraid to speak up when they don’t feel safe. Try pairing young workers with a mentor who can work with them directly, answer questions, and help with interactive and hands-on training.
- Get familiar with child labor laws — they apply to any workers age 18 and under. Check out the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment website to get everything you need.
- Distracted driving is a widespread problem — especially for young workers. Have a conversation with your employees about the risks of distracted driving, and provide tips to minimize this behavior. There are plenty of resources out there and even mobile apps that silence smartphone alerts while a vehicle is in motion.
- Do your research and share what you find. Start with this page that OSHA has dedicated to young worker resources to find further details and resources.