Colorado teens who take on summer jobs are often entering the workforce for the first time. It is an exciting time, their first steps to becoming financially independent from their parents. The last thing on their minds would likely be the possibility of being injured at work. However, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration notes that a significant number of work-related accidents involve new workers under the age of 25.
Records of workers’ compensation claims that were filed by young Colorado workers show certain types of injuries that are more prevalent than others. These include strains, sprains, punctures, lacerations and contusions. However, some more serious injuries and even fatalities occur every year. Safety authorities urge supervisors and senior workers to use this time to instill sound safety practices into new workers to set standards for the future.
Records indicate that a few common hazards cause the most frequently reported work-related injuries in teenage workers. Sharp objects or equipment that workers use without adequate training and the necessary personal protective equipment cause some injuries. Improper lifting techniques lead to musculoskeletal damage and rushing over wet and slippery floors while wearing inappropriate shoes cause slip-and-fall accidents. Standing for prolonged periods and exposure to the heat of the sun also lead to visits to the emergency room.
It is a good idea for teen workers to get familiar with the Colorado workers’ compensation insurance program. Knowing what to do if they are injured at work can get the ball rolling to claim benefits. Prompt reporting to a supervisor is essential, and an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can assist with the ensuing administrative and legal proceedings required to obtain benefits.