For local teenagers, summer is a great time to earn extra income. Those in our area often take full or part time jobs for the season, working in the construction, landscaping, retail, or hospitality industries. While this can provide money for expenses and experience which looks good on their resumes, it can also put them at risk for on-the-job accidents and injuries. In these situations, teens may be entitled to workers’ compensation to cover medical expenses and lost wages they suffer.
The following provides information on the rights of teenage workers and what they should do if job-related injuries occur.
Workplace Safety For Teenagers
Employers in our area often hire teen workers to fill positions over the busy summer season. While they generally lack experience and require additional training, employers can often get away with demanding more while paying less. If you are a teenager with a summer job or the parent of a teen, it is important to be aware that these workers have the same rights as anyone else in the workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) advises that this includes:
The right to work in a safe area
The right to be provided the proper training and safety equipment
The right to be protected against known hazards
The right to ask questions regarding instructions or if a job seems unsafe
The right to report safety violations without fear of losing their job or being demoted
Particularly when teens are working outside in hot weather or indoors in places that lack air conditioning or proper ventilation, it is important to be aware of the risks for heat exhaustion. Teens also need to take care when working at heights, near heavy equipment, and in other potentially dangerous situations. When on-the-job accidents and injuries occur, they should be reported to a supervisor immediately.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits For Seasonal Workers
Under South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) guidelines, employers with four or more regular full or part-time workers are required to provide benefits in the event of on the job injuries. This applies to seasonal workers as well, including teens working through the summer months. The amount of compensation they may be entitled to will depend on past wages, but any medical expenses that result from their injuries will be covered completely.
To protect themselves when work related accidents and injuries occur, it is important for teens to follow these steps:
Get medical attention immediately for job related injuries
Attend follow up visits with the doctor and follow their advice on work and activity restrictions
Document your expenses
Check with the WCC regularly until your claim is approved
Contact Us Today for Help
When on-the-job injuries occur, the Surasky Law Firm, LLC works with you to help you get the benefits you are entitled to. To find out how we can help in your case, contact our Aiken, SC workers’ compensation attorney to request a consultation today.