School’s Open – Work Carefully

It’s that time of year again. Much to the dismay of kids (and relief of parents) everywhere, school is back in session. The familiar sign “School’s Open – Drive Carefully” can now be seen on cars and buses all over the road. With the focus on the new school year, OSHA wants to help ensure that students with after-school and weekend jobs also “work carefully.” OSHA has therefore launched a new initiative which focuses on protecting young workers across the country – and is providing resources for young workers, their parents, employers, and educators.

In addition to a general overview of pertinent child labor laws and general regulations, OSHA’s Young Workers website addresses those hazards routinely present in industries that commonly employ young workers. Among other things, workers can explore a special “eTool” that describes and illustrates some of the most common hazards young workers can face within the food service industry. Other industries that employ a high number of young workers, such as agriculture and construction, have their own sections covering more specific hazards.

With this initiative, OSHA invites employers, parents, educators, and young workers to keep informed about workplace safety. These resources enable employers to keep abreast of the necessary rules and regulations to maintain OSHA compliance. They also help parents and educators insofar as they highlight what young workers may face at their workplace. Finally, and perhaps, most importantly, young workers now have resources enabling them to stay safe at their workplace and making them aware. This awareness will benefit them not only in the present, but also when they leave their school days behind and enter the full time workforce.

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