Just for Employers

Protecting teen workers

When hiring for the summer,
know how to protect young workers

With the arrival of summer, many young Texans will find themselves on the job facing new challenges in new surroundings. While this experience benefits young workers, Texas employers should know the responsibilities associated with youth employment and take steps to keep those new workers safe.

teen worker at meat slicer

As the state’s largest workers’ comp provider, Texas Mutual Insurance Company is committed to protecting young workers who traditionally have high rates of on the job injuries. Young workers play an important role in our economy but the pandemic and subsequent lockdown have put their long-term earning potential at risk. That’s why it’s important to create a place for them in the job sector, and to make sure they develop the skills they need to work safe and build a strong future. 

An estimated 80% of all teens work (PDF) at some point during their high school years, most commonly during the summer months. Studies show a number of these workers (PDF) will end up visiting the emergency room for work-related injuries. These injuries occur for a variety of reasons, including inexperience, lack of physical, cognitive or emotional capabilities, hesitancy to ask questions and a failure to recognize workplace dangers.

In addition, young workers face many job hazards ranging from unsafe equipment to inadequate supervision. View a list of the working conditions (PDF) most likely to cause adolescent injuries, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

To protect young workers, employers should be aware of possible risks and be proactive in their approach to accident prevention. There are steps every employer can take to help young people stay safe and healthy on the job.

Tips For Protecting Young Workers

  • Comply with teen labor laws in the state of Texas.
  • Encourage workers who are not feeling well to stay home, and implement testing, monitoring and other procedures (PDF) to combat the spread of COVID-19.
  • Provide any necessary safety equipment, including masks and gloves, that can reduce the risk of transmitting viruses.
  • Teach proper handwashing techniques and ensure hand sanitizer, wipes and cleaning products are available.
  • Lead by example and make sure supervisors and managers are consistent in their message.
  • Inspect work areas to identify hazards such as slippery floors, sharp objects, potentially dangerous machinery or heavy objects that may fall or need to be moved.
  • Plan for emergencies and hold regular training sessions so that young workers know what to do in emergency situations.
  • Be approachable and encourage young workers to ask questions and get help.
  • Issue policies on seatbelt use while driving and on cell phone use behind the wheel or in hazardous areas in the workplace.

Texas Mutual is committed to helping employers create a safe environment for young workers.

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