Young workers by default are relatively inexperienced when it comes to workplace hazards. In the construction business, many hazards that can result in fatalities and crippling injuries are presented every day. In addition to inexperience, young workers face challenged related to their cognitive, physical, and emotional developmental characteristics.
OSHA has prioritized these workers and ensured they remain as safe in their workplace as their older, more experienced counterparts. The Young Worker Initiative by OSHA is dedicated to improving the safety of young workers through a comprehensive outreach program.
Young workers who are younger than 18 years of age can be valuable assets in a workforce. Since they are inexperienced, they are eager to learn but this inexperience can also lead to injuries if they are not protected. Some of those injuries can lead to life-long conditions which can cost them their future livelihood.
Most young workers can get injured if they:
- Are allowed to take on jobs they have no experience with
- Are not supervised during their jobs
- Handle dangerous tools they don’t have experience working with
- Perform tasks on the job that violate employment laws for the youth
- Work on hazardous construction sites they are not trained for
The construction industry attracts 3% of young workers but it is also one of the most dangerous places for them to work. Most states have their own labor laws and may not follow the FLSA or the Fair Labor Standards Act. For instance, in some states there are different minimum wage standards for employment, work restrictions, additional tasks that can be hazardous, and requirements for work permits.
If on the other hand, the employment is under FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) jurisdiction, then employers have to adhere to federal and state laws. However, even if they do this, accidents are imminent among a young workforce. Ensuring that they are aware of the hazards and implementing safety precautions can prevent tragedies.
Under certain conditions, student workers can be allowed to perform some tasks that may be prohibited otherwise. However, the workers who wish to enroll in these programs must undergo occupational health and safety training beforehand. Workers who clear those training programs can be employed in businesses that are owned by their parents.
By hiring such young workers, you can get dedicated employees that are safety-conscious. However, even if FLSA laws do not apply, if employers hire workers who are less than 18 years old, they need to ensure that:
- Jobs assigned to them are age-appropriate
- Workers are trained to do their jobs safely
- Workers are supervised constantly till they have enough experience to not need supervision
- They are aware of tasks that young workers are not allowed to do
By prohibited tasks, we mean jobs that may be hazardous to young workers because of their youth and inexperience. For example, according to OSHA safety standards and FLSA, workers who are younger than 18 years of age are prohibited from operating forklifts in non-agricultural settings.
360Training’s 10-hour Construction Safety Certification course
Young workers need all the help they can get before they step foot on a construction site. 360Training’s 10-hour Construction Safety Certification course is designed to provide young construction workers with the knowledge they need to protect themselves on sites. This includes determining and preventing hazards that can otherwise prove tragic. However, all workers must receive additional training as per OSHA standards according to specific hazards they face on their jobs.
Once the course is complete, students will receive a completion card as proof.
The main objectives of the course include:
- OSHA inspection standards and processes
- Records of past incidents and existing information that can aid young workers
- The purpose of the OSHA Act and its functions
- Analysis of general safety and health provisions
Young construction workers could be just one slip-up away from tragedy. Sign up training today to ensure they remain healthy, safe, and able to forge long, successful careers.