Keep Young Workers Safe This Summer
For many cities and municipal organizations, hiring young workers is an important way to maximize productivity during the summer months. Without the extra help from teens and young adults, jobs like mowing, painting fire hydrants, traffic sign maintenance, and managing parks and recreation programming might not be achievable.
Younger workers are often energetic and excited to tackle new tasks, but did you know they’re also more likely to get injured on the job? Based on studies of emergency room visits, the injury rate for workers under the age of 25 is approximately twice that of workers 25 and older.
This summer, keep your young employees safe on the job with these tips.
Know the Rules
Depending on the ages of your employees, there may be restrictions on the hours they can work and the types of work they can do. Some of these restrictions may vary depending on the time of year (whether school is in session), but there are certain hazardous jobs that are off limits to all employees under 18 no matter the season.
Not sure if you’re in compliance? Check out these employer self-assessment tools.
Standardize Safety Training
Temporary workers should get the same onboarding and safety training as regular employees. And because young workers are often less experienced than their older counterparts, you may want to provide them with an additional round of training specific to their needs, or a longer probationary period.
Safety training should address the specific hazards they’ll encounter and explain how to use any necessary protective equipment. It’s also useful to pair new employees with a more experienced coworker who can observe their work and provide corrective guidance when needed.
Think Twice Before You Hand Over the Keys
Federal laws limit workplace driving by employees under 18. But even for those over 18, driving is still very hazardous. Younger drivers are less experienced and may overestimate their driving abilities. They may also be less prepared to drive in inclement weather or operate different types of vehicles.
You can help younger drivers stay safe behind the wheel by providing training specific to the vehicle they will be operating, requiring them to wear seat belts and obey traffic laws, and banning distractions (such as cell phones) while driving.