As part of its efforts to keep workers in Louisiana and across the country safe, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched another safety campaign, and this time it’s aimed at a specific part of the workforce: young workers. With the promotional message ‘Young workers! You have rights!” the campaign aims to educate both workers and employers about special circumstances that may apply to younger, newer or temporary workers.
The safety campaign serves as a reminder that there are laws restricting work and work duties of people under the age of 18. Information and guidelines for employers and temporary workers are also a big part of the safety campaign. Temporary workers have the same rights to safety and health while on the job as permanent workers. Employers and temporary staffing agencies share the responsibility for ensuring temporary workers’ safety.
For employers of younger workers, OSHA guidelines include being aware of specific communication needs with young workers such as encouraging them to speak up and ask questions and talking to them in a language they can understand. Buddy systems are encouraged for young workers, as well as labeling of equipment that younger workers are not allowed to use.
In Louisiana, most employers are required to provide workers’ compensation coverage to their employees. Temporary workers are also coveredr. Even when coverage exists, it does not automatically provide compensation for an injured worker. Employers often dispute or deny claims, and they are often aided in this effort by the fact that many employees do not know their rights. Injured workers could seek advice from an attorney to help them understand their rights and potentially improve their chances of having their workers’ compensation claim approved.