Ice cream shops, beaches and pools, amusement and water parks – all of these settings and more hire young employees during their busy summer seasons. Young workers are most commonly hired in the summer, with July being peak employment month. Employers should do all they can to ensure the safety of their younger employees. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) provides seven tips to help employers create a safe and healthy workspace for young people.
Verify the ages of youth-aged workers
Keep employment or age certificates on file for all employed youth. Use the DOL’s YouthRules website to determine the schedules and jobs permitted for each minor employee. Workers under the age of 18 are restricted in the types of jobs they’re permitted to have and hours they’re permitted to work.
Ensure managers are trained on child labor laws
Train any individual overseeing minors on child labor laws. Take advantage of the free resources and training from the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division as well as Mass.gov’s Massachusetts-specific restrictions and regulations.
Educate youth workers on prohibited jobs and permitted schedules
Teach young employees what tasks they may and may not perform and how long they can work each day, as well as the times they are permitted to work. Use the DOL’s Young Worker Toolkit to explain prohibited jobs and permitted schedules.
Review time records
Ensure your 14- and 15-year-old employees follow work hour limits. Reviewing time records of employed minors can help you remain compliant with state and federal child labor laws and keep your employees safe. Your business may be open late, but employees under the age of 16 are not permitted to work past 9 p.m.
Post warning labels on prohibited equipment
Place warning labels on the equipment minors are not allowed to use to help prevent avoidable injuries. You can print or order free stickers from the DOL’s website. Make sure these are posted in a place that all employees will see them regularly, and point them out to new employees when they start.
Train youth-aged workers on job hazards and safety precautions
Provide young workers with all the necessary safety training to keep them and their co-workers safe and reduce the risk of injuries.
Encourage young employees to raise safety concerns
Always explain to youth-aged workers that safety is a priority, and teach them how to report any safety concerns they may have.
By prioritizing young employees’ safety, you can help reduce injuries and prevent child labor law violations. For more business insurance solutions and tips on worker safety, contact your local FBinsure office today. Be sure to follow our social media pages so you can receive updates when we post more helpful blogs like this one!