Why Do So Many Young Workers Get Hurt?
Many young Americans view obtaining their first job as a milestone that represents a major step toward freedom. After all, that job represents what is likely the first monetary source that doesn’t come from, and therefore isn’t managed by, their parents. From buying a car to paying for prom and graduation expenses to shiny new electronics they’ve been eyeing, it is clear why young Americans choose to begin working. And in addition to material objects, many loved ones of young workers support their employment pursuits because employment is perceived as instilling many positive values. Unfortunately, sometimes young workers obtain a bit more than they bargained for.
The Tampa Bay Times recently reported that a young worker was killed when several pieces of granite apparently fell on top of him inside the granite and cabinets business that he worked at in the Palm River area. The young man was only 16-years-old when he was, tragically, pinned to death in this work-related accident.
And unfortunately, this is not a rare occurrence. According to statistics published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the 19.3 million workers under the age of 24 made up more than thirteen percent of the workforce in 2016. And two years earlier, the rate of work-related injuries treated in emergency departments for workers between the ages of 15 and 19 was more than two times higher than the rate for workers over the age of 24.
The consequences for young people who are badly hurt at work can be devastating, but they don’t have to be. Fortunately, your loved young worker can make an effort to avoid becoming injured at work. The first step is understanding the risks.
What Are the Age-Related Risk Factors?
Undeveloped physical strength or cognitive ability. Despite not having fully developed, young workers may be expected to perform tasks that they are not yet physically or mentally equipped for. Unfortunately, this can lead to tragedies like the one reported by the Times.
Inexperience. By their nature, young workers are more likely to be new to a job. In addition, young workers have had less time to obtain formal education or specialized training regarding their position and therefore are less likely to be able to recognize warnings and follow instructions.
Less likely to refuse a task. Because young workers might not have the confidence to refuse a dangerous instruction, especially when offered by someone far older and more experienced, they might disproportionately agree to take on risky tasks in comparison with an older counterpart.
Has a Young Worker You Love Been Injured at Work?
While the young worker in your life had to spread his or her wings in order to independently obtain employment, now that a workplace injury has happened, this is the time to help your young loved one fight for well-deserved benefits. The Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Payer & Associates have significant experience helping people obtain the workers’ compensation benefits they are entitled to and can help you fight while your loved one recovers. Begin by contacting us today to schedule a consultation.