Protecting Teenager Food and Beverage Workers
With another busy tourist season right around the corner, many teenagers throughout Charleston and the surrounding areas will begin looking for jobs. The food and beverage industry is a common place for many young workers to find employment, and jobs in local restaurants and fast food places provide a steady income for teenagers. While having a restaurant job puts money in their pockets and encourages responsibility and teamwork, these types of jobs can present hazards. On-the-job accidents and injuries among teens workers in the food and beverage industry are unfortunately common, and these injuries can have serious repercussions. If you are the parent or loved one of a Teenage worker, the following is important information you need to be aware of to ensure their rights, as well as their health and well-being, are protected.
Teenage Restaurant Worker Injuries
According to a January 2016 report on teen worker injuries on HealthDay, a health information news website, over 44,000 injuries are suffered each year by teenage restaurant workers. Of those injured, more than 60 percent occur in the fast food restaurant industry. The fast food industry is a mecca for young workers looking to get some real-world work experience, and many fast food places promote from within, giving responsible young people the opportunity to move up through the ranks. Unfortunately, the nature of the fast food industry and restaurant work in general means that young workers are exposed to a number of potentially hazardous conditions. According to a report on restaurant worker injuries from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), some of the most common types of on-the-job injuries for these workers include the following:
- Slip, trip, and fall injuries caused by wet floors and spills;
- Burns injuries due to being near deep fryers, hot ovens, and handling hot plates;
- Cuts and lacerations from slicing machines, knives, and broken glass and dishware;
- Chemical exposure to harsh detergents, cleansers, and sanitizers;
- Workplace violence, from customers or other employees; and
- Ergonomic injuries such as muscle strains and sprains due to heavy lifting.
Any of the above can result in scarring, disfigurement, and serious injuries with the potential for long-term ramifications on your teenager’s health.
Help For Injured Teenage Workers
Employers who suffer on-the-job injuries may be eligible for benefits through the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission, regardless of their age. While teenagers may be more likely to downplay their injuries, it is important to emphasize to your teen the importance of doing the following if they are injured on the job:
- Notify a supervisor immediately;
- Make note of when the accident occurred and the condition surrounding it;
- Get contact information for any witnesses to the accident; and
- Seek medical treatment immediately, even if you feel your injury is minor.
Seemingly minor injuries can have lasting impacts, accrue heavy medical bills, and result in lost wages for your teenager. Emphasize this to your teenager, as well as the fact that as a worker, they have a right to protect themselves, their health, and to work in an environment that is safe.
Contact Us for Help
If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, contact the Anastopoulo Law Firm today. Our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys provide effective, aggressive legal representation to assist injured workers in getting the benefits they deserve. With offices in Charleston and throughout South Carolina, we can help; call Akim Anastopoulo today for a free review of your case.