Working Teens

Essay by Dominican4us January 2003

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For teenagers, employment can be a valuable experience. In addition to its financial benefits, work gives teens the opportunity to learn important job skills, explore future careers, and, in some cases, enhance their academic education. On the other hand, many young workers face health and safety hazards on the job. Many times, working teens suffer injuries that can have devastating effects on their physical well-being. And working too many hours can jeopardize a teen's academic and social development. Teens who are injured seriously enough to miss work may also miss days of school.

Teens are often injured on the job due to unsafe equipment, stressful conditions, and speed-up. In most states, according to the table, the most common injuries to young workers are caused by falls. Young workers may be at particular risk because of inexperience, absence of meaningful safety training, lack of appropriate supervision, and ability to get the job done without going to the supervisor or older co-workers, and failure of employers to recognize hazardous or prohibited work tasks.

As inexperienced workers, teens are not likely to be familiar with job tasks, workplace hazards, ways to avoid injury, and their rights as workers. According to the article, of 180 students interviewed in California, few had received any information about job safety from anyone at their workplace.

Employers should provide training to ensure that teens recognize hazards and are competent in safe work practices. Studies show that safety training may reduce injuries among young and inexperienced workers. Employers should ensue that teens are appropriately supervised to prevent injuries and hazardous exposures. They should evaluate equipment that teens operate to ensure that it is safe for use by adolescents. Employers must also know and obey the child labor laws and occupational safety and health regulations.

In conclusion, teens are...