Summer is the time when teenagers often get the first jobs, and many of them find work in fast food places and local eateries. These jobs can benefit your son or daughter by helping to provide a sense of responsibility and independence, while also putting a few dollars in their pockets and bank accounts to help defray the costs associated with going to school or buying a car. At the same time, a teenager’s general lack of maturity, experience, and on the job training can result in an increase in on-the-job accidents and injuries. As a parent, it is important to help your teenaged worker understand the types of injuries that most commonly occur in the restaurant industry, as well as what they need to do if they are injured on the job to ensure they are covered under workers’ compensation.
Teenaged Worker Injuries
According to a January 2016 Health Day report on teen worker injuries, roughly 44,000 teenagers are injured on the job each year. While on-the-job accidents and injuries can happen in any occupation, more than 60 of these teen worker injuries occurred in the fast food industry. Entry level jobs flipping burgers, working deep fryers, and mopping floors can provide income and a sense of responsibility, while also giving your teen valuable experience that opens the door for future opportunities. At the same time, these positions can expose your child to dangerous conditions and hazards that can result in serious, potentially disabling injuries. Reports from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) indicate that the following are common types in injuries suffered by food industry workers:
- Slip, trip, and fall injuries due to wet or slippery floors and cluttered walkways;
- Burns injuries caused by deep fryers and food heating lamps;
- Cuts and lacerations caused by cutting machines, knives, exposed edges, and broken glass;
- Chemical burns due to exposure to cleaning substances;
- Workplace violence that occurs as the result of interactions with restaurant guests and other employees.
What Your Teen Should Do If Injured On The Job
Regardless of their age, teenaged workers who are injured on the job may be entitled to benefits from the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC). These benefits include medical expenses associated with their injuries, compensation for lost wages, as well as disability benefits if their injuries have lasting impacts or prevent them from working, either temporarily or permanently. In order to be eligible to receive benefits, advise your teen to follow these steps;
- Report any accident or injury to their supervisor immediately;
- Seek medical care for their injuries, regardless of how minor they may appear;
- Take note of the conditions leading up to their accident or injury;
- Get the names and contact information for any employees or customers who may have witnessed the incident.
Once your teen has reported their injury to their employer or supervisor, they should follow up with the DWC to ensure a claim was filed.
Let Us Assist You with Your Case
If you or someone you care about suffers an on the job injury, contact our experienced Florida workers’ compensation attorneys right away. At Hogan Frick in Orlando we can assist you in filing a claim for benefits and advise you on the types of benefits you may be entitled to, including medical expenses, lost wages, and compensation for disabilities.