Because of their youth and inexperience, extra attention needs to be paid to teen workers, cautions the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health. To help ensure safety, Cal/OSHA recommends:
- Prior to placing a teen worker in a job, review all job duties and work areas to eliminate potential hazards.
- Provide teen-friendly training. Make sure that teens fully recognize hazards and are competent in safe work practices.
- Supervisors must follow up with teen workers to ensure they understand the training and are using proper work procedures.
- Look for supervisors who are especially attentive or those who communicate well with teens.
Pair teens with more experienced workers who have demonstrated a commitment to safe work habits. This can be most effective when the experienced worker is only a few years older than the teen.
- Encourage teens to ask questions about tasks or procedures they do not understand. Bear in mind that teens communicate differently than adults and their decision-making capabilities have not yet fully matured.
- Ensure equipment operated by teens is both safe and legal for them to use.