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How to keep teens safe from workplace accidents

There's a special sector of workers in California and throughout the nation, comprised mostly of young people under age 18. Every state has its own laws regarding teen workers, and the U.S. Department of Labor has also enacted several laws to protect the health and safety of teens in the workforce. Many teens, however, are at risk for workplace accidents, especially those who are unaware of the laws, as well as particular hazards that may be present in their work environments.

Many teens seek gainful employment while they're still in school. In addition to the obvious benefit of income, many teens find working at younger ages helps them grow independent and develop various skills that can help them in adulthood. In fact, some teens are able to use their time at work toward college credits for internships, apprenticeships, etc.

There are often physical, ergonomic, biological and chemical hazards in a workplace. Employers are obviously obligated to provide proper instruction and training to all employees, especially teens. They are also responsible for adhering to any and all safety regulations and laws regarding workers under age 18, which often include limitations on the amount of hours a teen can work, as well as the types of duties they can perform.

Like all employees, teens injured in California workplace accidents are entitled to collect workers' compensation benefits. The workers' comp system is complex and often difficult to navigate. Much stress can typically be alleviated by enlisting the assistance of an experienced workers' compensation attorney for help in filing a claim and addressing any problems that arise.

Source: asse.org, "Fact Sheet: Teens at Work, Know the Risks", Accessed on April 15, 2017

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