Summer isn’t just a time for teens to sleep in or head to the beach. It’s also a time for them to earn some extra cash and gain valuable working experience.

With the school year wrapping up soon, many teens will take on summer jobs, some for the very first time.

Younger workers are at a higher risk of workplace injury

Young worker uses protective gear on the job

Unfortunately, the extra money and experience often comes at a cost. Young workers face a much higher injury rate than adult workers. And, many times these injuries involve unsafe equipment, a lack of training, and work inappropriate for people under age 18.

That’s where the Young Workers Project comes in. A collaborative effort involving the public, private, and educational sectors, the YWP has one goal in mind—helping young workers avoid injuries on the job.

As part of this goal, YWP just wrapped up Safe Jobs for Youth Month in May. This was a time to help employers better prepare for the young employees that will be coming to work for them in the summer time. And even though Safe Jobs for Youth Month has ended, YWP’s resources are available year-round.

Help your young workers avoid injury

As an employer, you can access information on topics such as young worker eligibility and the job duties teens must avoid. You can also find YWP’s five steps to safer teen jobs:

  • Know and comply with the law.
  • Make sure teens have work permits.
  • Stress safety to supervisors.
  • Set up a safety and health program.
  • Train teens to put safety first.

The YWP has also been working with schools and community groups to help job-eligible teens prepare for the months ahead. This includes helping them through the work-permit process, understanding their rights, and educating them on the importance of workplace safety and why it needs to be a priority to both you and them.

As you bring young people into the workforce this summer, you are helping them build their future. Providing and promoting a safe workplace not only minimizes their risk of getting hurt, but also helps cut the risk of injury among your full-time staff.

And, if young workers learn about safety now, it could remain a priority with them throughout their working life.

Additional resources: Teen Worker Fact SheetOSHA: Parents and Educators Can Keep Young Workers Safe.

The above evaluations and/or recommendations are for general guidance only and should not be relied upon for legal compliance purposes. They are based solely on the information provided to us and relate only to those conditions specifically discussed. We do not make any warranty, expressed or implied, that your workplace is safe or healthful or that it complies with all laws, regulations or standards.


Copyright © 2019, State Compensation Insurance Fund