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What hazards are teens exposed to at work?

Teens want to get into the workforce for a number of reasons, and it's important that they begin to understand the value of hard work. It's also very important that parents and guardians discuss safety in the workplace with their teens, so they know what they should expect from their employers. Teens may be exposed to any number of hazards in the workplace, but an employer with safety set as a priority will not allow hazards to put others at risk. Proper training will be provided, and any unnecessary risks are eliminated as soon as possible.

Aren't younger workers at a higher risk of injury due to their inexperience?

It's true that young workers are inexperienced and at a higher risk of being injured on the job. Sometimes younger workers don't want to ask for help or take on task that they aren't prepared for to try to impress others. It's vital that teens understand that they can ask for help and shouldn't attempt to perform tasks they don't understand or aren't trained to complete. Doing something without training can lead to serious injuries.

What hazards are teens exposed to?

Young workers are exposed to electrical hazards, fire hazards and chemical hazards along with the risk for slipping, tripping and falling. Even in an office, there's a risk of electrocution from outlets, exposure to chemicals from cleaning solutions and the risk of tripping on carpeting or slipping on slick floors.

It's the employer's job to make sure they're trained in safety procedures that help them avoid these hazards and gives them the tools to report hazards when they see them. If a teen is hurt on the job, then he or she is entitled to workers' compensation like any other employee. If he or she is not able to make a claim due to the employer refusing, then an attorney could help resolve the situation.

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Young Worker Safety in Restaurants," accessed March 03, 2017

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