My son just started his summer job—is there anything I should do to make sure he’s safe at work?

School’s out for summer, and that means that teenagers everywhere are beginning summer jobs in order to pocket some spending money for summer fun. While earning money is at the front of their mind, for employers and parents, keeping these young workers safe requires some extra effort.

Teenagers in the Workplace Mean Increased Injury Risk

In any workplace, inexperienced workers lead to a higher risk of injury and accidents on the job—and teenaged summer employees are no exception. Unfortunately for these young workers, not only do they face increased risk, but they also are less aware of their rights as employees, leaving them vulnerable to missing out on compensation or protection that they may be owed.

Employers should be aware of the added risk teen workers face, and many are good about ensuring that teen workers receive proper training, supervision, and appropriate job tasks to keep risk minimized. Unfortunately, some employers neglect to take the necessary added precautions, leaving teen workers exposed to workplace injuries like falls.

As a parent, the best thing you can do to help keep your child safe at work is to keep lines of communication open. Ask your children about the work they do, as well as the training they have received to do their duties. If you—or your child—have concerns over safety issues or working conditions, encourage him to speak with a supervisor or even OSHA to address and fix concerns.

One of the most important conversations you can have with your working teen is about his rights as an employee, both every day and in the event of an on-the-job injury. If your child is injured at work and he or she is considered a regular employee, workers’ compensation may be available. Make sure that your child understands what to do if an injury occurs at work, but also make sure that he or she is aware of the right to speak up when a task or assignment does not feel safe.

Are your kids joining the workforce this summer? Share these important points with them to help them make sure their summer job is just as safe as it is fun!