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Workplace injuries happen to teens, too

With school out, you probably encourage your teen to get a summer job to keep busy and save money for college. While this is a positive endeavor, teaching important life and employment skills, it also comes with a risk, especially in consideration of the types of jobs teens usually get.

If your teen sustains an injury on the job, he or she may be eligible for workers’ compensation despite being young. Teens deserve a safe work environment and compensation for the effects of hazards, just like every other employee.

Common dangers of summer jobs

Teens tend to work in certain sectors and positions due to having limited choices, and each contains its own dangers:

  • Food service: Burns, slips and falls, machinery
  • Lifeguarding: Sunburns, heat stroke
  • Child care: Back injuries from lifting children
  • Janitorial: Hazardous chemicals and equipment
  • Landscaping: Tools, pesticide exposure

Claims Journal reports that the most common injuries for teens are sprains, strains and cuts, all of which can happen in any industry.

Reasons for injuries

Teens get hurt more often than older workers despite the benefits of being young, such as greater energy. One reason is that teenagers lack sufficient work experience. Summer jobs are usually their first places of employment, and even if they do it every summer, it only accounts for a few months each year.

Because of this fact, employers are even more responsible for providing adequate and comprehensive training to minors. They should ensure that teens know how to properly use all equipment, understand and follow safety protocol, stay away from dangerous machinery and are always under supervision. When employers fail to train and supervise their teenage employees, they act negligently and become liable for any injuries that occur.

Prepare your teen

Sit down with your teen and discuss what to do in the event of an accident and injury. Even if he or she received this information already at work, reviewing it and making sure your child understands will help in case something happens.