May 6, 2005  


ES&H Safety Tip: Safety and Teen Workers

From 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.

Summer 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 safety.

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 improvements.

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, see:

The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center is managed by Stanford University for the US Department of Energy

Last update Friday May 06, 2005 by Topher White