At this time of year, many students look for part-time or full-time summer jobs in Homestead and across South Florida to raise some money for cars, clothes, or just pocket money. If you have a teenager or younger child looking for a paper route, office job, temp job, or other employment, make sure that your child knows how to stay safe.
One of the risks with summer employment for Hollywood youth is that there is a high risk of injury. Studies and research have shown that youth may be less protected than other workers because they do not have seniority and may be hired on a contractor or temp basis, meaning that they do not have the same protections as full-time employees.
Youth workers may also not have the training or may not receive the training that full-time employees get, meaning they may not have the information they need to stay safe on the job. Researchers have concluded that younger workers may be more hesitant to report unsafe conditions because they are unsure of what unsafe conditions look like and may be hesitant to report problems because they fear losing their job.
How can you ensure that your child stays safe no matter where they work? There are several things you can do as a parent:
1) Research the company where your child will be working. Does the company have a good safety record? Have they been accused of safety violations in the past? Have other workers complained about injuries in the workplace?
2) Go over the work contract with your child. Is your child being hired as a full-time employee, part-time employee, or are they being classified in another way? How will this classification affect their compensation and their benefits?
3) Help your child understand workers’ rights. Visit the OSHA website and review the rights that your child has as a worker. Help your child understand that they have a right to refuse unsafe work and have a right to point out unsafe conditions. Make sure your child knows who they can report unsafe conditions and problems to and how they can report issues.
4) Help your child understand what unsafe work looks like. Go over to the tasks that your child will likely perform in their job and review what would be safe and unsafe. Ask your child to identify what factors could make their job less safe and what tasks would be especially risky as well as the steps they can take to reduce the risk.
5) Visit your child in the workplace, if you can. This gives you a chance to observe whether your child is safe at work. Does it seem like a positive work environment? Do you see obvious safety violations?
6) After the first few days of work, discuss working conditions. Does your child have concerns about safety issues in their workplace? You may choose to address these issues or you may decide that getting a different job may be more appropriate.
A part-time or summer job can be a great way for your children to learn responsibility and to gain work experience for the real world. However, this experience should be largely positive. No one should walk into a summer job only to sustain a permanent or serious injury. Unfortunately, it happens with our young workers all too often.
If your child has been injured on the job, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation to discuss how you and your family can seek compensation. If the employer was negligent, you and your child can pursue compensation for your child’s medical care, lost wages, and other expenses. This can be especially important if your child has been permanently or seriously injured, since this can affect their future earning capacity. Let our compassionate and caring staff help you understand your options for legal redress.