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OSHA offers tips for keeping teen workers safe this summer

Employers must ensure teens receive training to recognize hazards

Posted May 8, 2019

OSHA reminds employers hiring teen workers for the summer to keep in mind that it may be their first job or the first time they’re operating equipment. The Agency offers the following tips:

  • Understand and comply with the relevant federal and state child labor laws. These laws prohibit youth from working certain hours and from performing dangerous/hazardous work.
  • Ensure young workers receive training to recognize hazards and are competent in safe work practices. Training should be in a language and vocabulary they can understand and should include prevention of fires, accidents, and violent situations and what to do if injured.
  • Implement a mentoring or buddy system for new young workers. Have an adult or experienced young worker answer questions and help the new young worker learn the ropes of a new job.
  • Encourage young workers to ask questions about tasks or procedures that are unclear or not understood.
  • Be mindful of the unique aspects of communicating with young workers.
  • Ensure that equipment operated by young workers is both legal and safe for them to use. Label equipment that they are not allowed to operate.

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