Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Employ Young People? Check Out These Resources!

Summer is quickly approaching. Young people will soon be out of school and reporting to their summer jobs at amusement parks and attractions across the United States. Or in some cases, they’ve already been working for a few weeks now. All of this makes now an excellent time to remind U.S. IAAPA members of the resources the federal government provides for businesses that employ workers under the age of 18.

Once again, IAAPA has partnered with the Department of Labor to get the word out about Youth Rules, an online database of federal and state labor laws. IAAPA members can visit Youth Rules and search by state to find out what sort of jobs young people can do, learn about mandatory work breaks, and get compliance assistance. Teens can look up what hours they are allowed to work, if they need to get a work permit (which they should do before schools close for the summer), and read some helpful tips on workplace safety.

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), teens face a high risk of being injured on the job. A 10-year study, which concluded in 2007, found younger workers were twice as likely as their older counterparts to be treated in hospital emergency departments for work-related injuries.

To reduce this risk, NIOSH recently introduced Youth at Work: Talking Safety which can help teens identify workplace health and safety hazards, and take measures to reduce risk for injury. This curriculum is meant to be used in a classroom or other group training settings, and has been customized to address state-specific rules and regulations. The curriculum includes slides and talking points for the presenter, handouts, and completion certificates for the students, and interactive material such as an online video that can be emailed to employees to watch before they begin training.

The exciting atmosphere and family-friendly environment makes the attractions industry a great place for teens to work, and teens can make great employees. By reviewing resources such as Youth Rules and Youth at Work: Talking Safety, you can ensure everyone has a safe and successful summer.

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