As summer approaches, many teenagers will start their first jobs. While many young people are excited about earning their first paycheck, they may not be aware of their workplace rights, especially in terms of protecting their safety. According to statistics by the Department of Labor & Industries, young workers are more prone to being injured on the job than older workers.
Experts urge parents to sit down with children who are entering the workforce and explain that they should not just accept any task assigned to them. Some tasks may be dangerous or involve using hazardous equipment, and a lack of training can lead to serious injury. Teenagers should know that if they are concerned about the safety of a job, they have the right to ask for training.
A Department of Labor & Industries study in Washington showed that the majority of injuries of teenage workers in that state came from food service and retail jobs. The most common types of injuries suffered were cuts, strains, sprains and back injuries, which made up half of all injuries reported.
Injuries are more common in some industries than others, but businesses of all types are required to have insurance to provide their employees with workers’ compensation in the event of a workplace injury. Workers’ compensation covers everything from direct physical harm to repetitive stress injuries. People may also be eligible for these benefits even if they were not at their place of employment so long as they were doing something work related when they were injured. If someone is interested in learning more about such benefits, a lawyer could explain the details.