Young workers are often inexperienced workers, which means they haven’t necessarily developed good habits where workplace safety is concerned. That said, they probably haven’t developed bad ones, either. Right from the start, it’s important to create a culture where young workers know their rights, are encouraged to ask questions and understand the importance of following safety rules.

In this section of the site you’ll find some great tools and tips for young worker safety, whether you’re an employee or employer. If you’d like more detail or a program specifically for your young workers, contact Montana State Fund. We love getting young workers started down the path to workplace safety.

Will they use their brains?
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    Donna & Janey
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According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, workers under age 25 are nearly twice as likely to get injured on the job as more seasoned workers. Here are three ways to change that.

1. Know Your Rights. All employees in Montana have a right to safety training, appropriate safety gear, a safe environment, safe equipment, etc. It’s the responsibility of the employer to provide these and the responsibility of the worker to pay attention and put all that safety to good use.

2. Ask Questions. Too often young workers “fake it to make it.” In other words, they act like they know how to operate a machine or complete a task, even when they don’t. And that causes injuries. Employers, be clear when training or providing instructions and encourage questions. Young workers, listen to that voice inside you and if it’s saying, “Huh?” or “How does this work again?” raise your hand.

3. Follow Safety Rules. It’s so tempting to not put down a saw guard when you need to make a quick cut or to not use a hand truck when moving something heavy a short distance. Problem is, that one short cut can create pain and suffering for a very long time. Employers, be specific about safety rules, post them clearly and don’t tolerate violations. Young workers, follow the rules and if you don’t know them, well, reread tip #2.

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