Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Employee safety training: Teens on-the-job

If you’re planning on hiring teens to fill summer job positions, be sure that you have the proper structure and employee safety training programs set up to keep these young employees safe at work.

Last week, the Department of Labor (DOL) kicked off the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) national 2008 Teen Summer Job Safety Campaign in downtown New York city.

The campaign is part of a large effort to reduce work-related injuries among teens by teaching proper on-the-job safety, with a goal to reach more than three million teens. By reaching out to workers at a young age, OSHA hopes these teens will carry important safety lessons through as they grow older.

Before considering bringing teens into your workplace, first educate yourself on the laws protecting young workers:

OSHA. Depending on where you do business, employers must comply with certain hazard-specific job safety and health standards. Federal or state OSHA offices can help with regulations and standards. Visit osha.gov for more information.

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA protects minors by restricting the amount of hours they are able to work and the types of jobs they can work. Your local Employment Standards Administration office can help with questions, or visit the OSHA site for more information.

If you decide to employ teens, be sure your workplace is ready:

Make employee safety training a top priority.

Review work sites to spot and eliminate potential hazards, ensuring employees are working in a safe environment.

Train adolescent and teen employees how to recognize workplace dangers and how to perform their jobs safely.

Training should include, but is not limited to topics such as fire and accident prevention, workplace accidents, violent situations and what to do if someone is injured on the job.

Educate teen employees on their rights, in the case they are injured on the job, including how to file a claim to cover medical benefits and lost work time.

Choose well trained supervisors who know how to spot workplace hazards and follow safe work practices to monitor new, young employees.

Supervise teens to be sure they are following safe work practices and know how to spot hazards on their own.

Implement a shadowing program where teen employees follow older, experienced employees to teach them valuable safety skills.

Promote an open-door policy and encourage young workers to always ask questions about anything that is unclear.

Keep your teen employees safe this summer while employed with your company. Be sure you know the rules when hiring teens and train your workforce regularly on safety. A safe and healthy work environment will create a rewarding work experience for teen workers and your business.

1 comment:

Paulo said...

Kudos! to those companies who gives safety training specially to teens. It'll be more effective with safety training video.

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