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Do Summer Jobs Increase the Risk of Workplace Injury?

At this time of year, many college and high school students take on seasonal summer work to save up money for school. In addition, many seasonal summer jobs become available for adults, especially in agricultural, tourism, and construction fields. While summer jobs can be a great way to earn extra money and can teach students about responsibility, summer jobs in Homestead and other South Florida cities do come with some added risks.

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Summer jobs, according to some experts, may include a risk of injury and accidents. In fact, there are a few reasons why summer workers may be at greater risk when compared with year-round employees:

1) Less time on the job.

Newer workers are more likely to be injured when compared to workers who have been on the job for a while. In fact, a study by the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) found that in the first month in a new position a worker has three times the risk of an injury when compared with employees who have been at their job for at least a year.

New workers may be more at risk because they may not have the training and experience of older workers. They may not be as aware of the hazards of the workplace and may still be working on developing their skills rather than on focusing on safety. Proper safety training and some discussion about safety can be an important place to start to make the workplace safer for new and seasonal workers.

2) Some seasonal summer work comes with added risks.

Agricultural and construction work, for example, comes with a number of hazards. Construction workers may be involved in forklift accidents, machine accidents, and other incidents which can lead to injury. Agricultural workers may be exposed to extreme heat or can run into other risks. Even traditional summer jobs for teens – such as retail positions or jobs in restaurants – can lead to sprains, burns, and other injuries.

3) Young workers.

When college and high school aren’t in session, the ranks of workers increases as students seek summer work. Youth workers face some added risk factors in the workplace. For example, they may not fully know their rights as employees may not realize they can turn down unsafe work. Younger workers may not know they have access to training. It is important for parents to talk to their children before any new job to discuss responsibilities and ways to stay safe on the job.

4) High temperatures.

Hot weather in Florida can lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke, dehydration, serious skin burns, and other issues which can prove serious and even life-threatening. When working in the heat, try to stay cool and hydrated. Work indoors, if possible. If not, try to work outside during cooler parts of the day, take frequent breaks, and wear sunscreen and a hat.

If you have been injured on the job in Homestead or anywhere in South Florida, you may qualify for worker’s compensation if your injuries were serious and prevent you from working. Depending on circumstances, you may also have other legal options. To find out what can be done in your situation, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation. Our law firm is proud to have been part of the South Florida community for years and we serve clients across South Florida from our offices in Homestead, Hollywood, and Miami.