With the imminent end of the school year, thousands of high school and college students in California will be looking forward to reporting for their summer jobs. This could be the ideal start of a planned career or just a way of earning an income, but workers must never lose sight of safety hazards that could lead to workplace injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to prioritize employee safety, regardless of the age or level of experience of workers.
The safety agency reminds young workers that they are entitled to safe and healthy work environments. Employees have the right to be informed of potential safety hazards and to receive adequate safety training to learn how to stay safe. Training must include the how and when of personal protective equipment, and employees must never fail to wear it. Workers must feel free to ask questions if they are unsure of anything, and they must not hesitate to report injuries or unsafe circumstances.
Furthermore, employers must inform workers of their rights to workers' compensation coverage. Many injuries happen within the first few days of employment, and workers must learn which steps to take if they or a co-worker is injured. It is crucial to know the time limits for reporting injuries and filing insurance claims. Employers must also learn about all the circumstances that might not be covered by workers' comp, such as injuries suffered during horseplay.
Young workers in California who fall victim to workplace injuries might find the benefits claims process daunting. Fortunately, an experienced workers' compensation attorney can assist every step along the way. While legal counsel works to obtain benefits to cover medical expenses an lost wages, the injured worker can focus on recovering and returning to work.