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April 20, 2012

April Safety Tip: 5 Ways to Protect Young Workers

Young worker safety signMore than 20,000 young workers are injured or killed annually in the U.S. Here are some NIOSH recommendations employers can take to help protect young workers:

1. Recognize the Hazards
  • Assess and eliminate workplace hazards.
  • Ensure equipment used by young workers is safe and legal.

2. Supervise Young Workers
  • Be sure supervisors and adult co-workers are aware of tasks young workers may and may not perform.
  • Label equipment that young workers cannot use, or color-code uniforms so others know they are not allowed to perform certain jobs.
3. Provide Training
    Safety Label
  • Ensure young workers recognize hazards and are competent in safe work practices.
  • Have young workers demonstrate their assigned tasks safely and correctly.
  • Ask workers for feedback about the training.
4. Know and Comply with All Laws
  • Research child labor laws and occupational health and safety laws and health regulations that apply to your business.
  • State laws may be more restrictive than Federal laws, and they vary considerably from state to state.
5. Develop an Injury and Illness Prevention Program
  • Involve supervisors and experienced workers.
  • Let them share their experiences with young workers.
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