Now that the school year has ended, it’s possible that your teenager will be searching for their first summer job. While there is value in adding experience to a teen’s resume, summer jobs come with a special set of hazards that as a parent, you should watch out for.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 59,800 workers who are younger than 19 years old are sent to the emergency room for injuries sustained in the workplace. Moreover, younger workers are twice as likely to be injured on the job than older workers. Given their age and lack of experience, employers can take advantage of teenage workers. Teens receive pressure to perform workplace duties that are illegal or that they are not properly trained in that can lead to a fatal workplace accident.
How to Keep Your Teen Safe On the Job This Summer
Your teenager may be underage, but they still have the right to work in a safe environment. It is important for you as a parent to have an open conversation about their job. Ask question about workplace safety and the training they have received. Encourage them to ask questions and remind them of the following:
- Employers must provide your teen with proper training, and all equipment must be maintained
- If your teenager does not feel safe performing a specific duty, they have the right to refuse
- Your teenager cannot be fired for reporting an injury they’ve sustained on the job
- Though they are hired for summer labor, they are still eligible for workers’ compensation if they are injured
- Employers are required to provide necessary safety gear
- Tell your teen to trust their instincts and follow all the safety procedures their employer provides
While a summer job is a great learning experience where your teen can earn a little extra money, they must be aware that safety comes first.