Most people know that different jobs involve different amounts of risk. For example, construction workers often face a higher risk of sustaining a severe work injury than office workers.
However, the same also applies to different age groups. And it might be surprising to some that young workers actually face a higher risk of suffering an injury on the job than any other age group.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), young workers go to the emergency room for work injuries at nearly double the rate of workers above the age of 25.
There are a few primary reasons that young workers face this higher risk, including:
1. Younger workers often have less experience
People usually equate age to experience. That is not always accurate, but it is often true in the working world. It is more likely that young workers are new to a job or a specific field.
Most Americans get their first job as a teenager. And it can be overwhelming for young workers to learn the trade and complete their duties while also staying safe at work.
2. Employers might not provide proper training to young workers
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide workers with adequate training, so they understand:
- Their rights in the workplace
- How to properly use equipment
- How to safely complete their work
- What workplace hazards they face
However, employers are frequently not providing young workers with the full training they need. Many young workers are teenagers or college students working in the summer or on holiday breaks to earn extra cash. Therefore, they are usually seasonal employees.
Employers might avoid providing seasonal employees with full training to save time and obtain the extra help they need as soon as possible.
3. New workers often do the work that others will not
Unfortunately, veteran workers often give new workers the jobs they do not want to complete. This work also often tends to be the most dangerous. For example, many retail jobs require employees to maintain stock. If an inexperienced, under-trained worker slips and falls off of a ladder while stocking, they could suffer a life-changing injury.
While it is possible for young Alabama workers to collect workers' compensation after a work injury, they need to understand the risks they could face in the workplace. Knowing about these risks and their rights can help young workers keep themselves safe on the job.