ES&H Safety Tip: Safety and Teen Workers
summer employment to various summer school programs, SLAC provides
wonderful opportunities for young people to learn about and participate
in the work we do here at the Lab.
Students gain valuable experience working at the Laboratory
(Photo by Diana Rogers)
We have to remember, though, that they are young and need our help and
instruction to identify and avoid safety hazards. It is not always easy
to tell young people what to do. Some think they already know
everything. But we cannot afford to take chances when it comes to
The most important thing that you can
do is teach your young employee about the Integrated Safety Management
System. It is our responsibility and sometimes our challenge to get
young workers to recognize that there are safety issues on the job and
there are steps they have to take to prevent accidents.
We have to take the
time to instruct them, show them and watch them. Teach them to go
through the mental checklist of the scope of the work, identify the
hazards, control the hazards, perform the work within the controls
identified and then assess the work and look for and communicate
One of the most important things we
can do is set a good example. There’s no point in telling a teenager to
perform a job a certain way—the safe way—and then cutting corners on
safety ourselves. They will do what we do, not what we say. And working
safely is everyone’s job.
As you plan for
student workers this summer, make sure to include safety instruction.
Instilling safe work practices may the be most important thing young
people can learn during their time here.
For more information,