It can be exciting for a young worker under the age of 25 to start his or her first job in retail. However, young workers should give some thought to how they can keep themselves safe in the workplace.
Relatively speaking, retail is a safe occupation. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are potential hazards in every workplace. Young workers should learn about the potential dangers and their employers’ responsibility to keep them safe.
How many young employees get hurt working retail?
Approximately 23,000 young workers become injured working retail jobs in the United States every year. This is approximately one-quarter of the 100,000 workplace accidents that affect employees under the age of 25 on an annual basis and require them to miss work. Retail jobs include places like supermarkets, nurseries and garden supply, department stores, specialty food and drink shops or anywhere that the buyers of the items are the ones to use them.
How can young people avoid injury on the job?
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, young employees have the same rights as other workers. However, young workers may not be aware of their rights, which may make it easier for a dishonest employer to take advantage of them. Young workers should be proactive in asking questions if a situation seems unsafe or they receive instructions they do not understand. They should be aware of tasks that the law does not permit them to do because of their age.
A young worker who believes that there is a serious hazard at his or her workplace can file a complaint with OSHA. The complaint is confidential so the employer has no way of knowing who made it.