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Staying Safe on the Summer Job

August 28, 2015 | Posted In Personal Injury/Negligence - Fires and Explosions |

One of the time-honored traditions of summer vacation for teenagers in high school is getting a summer job. High school kids are a little too old for camp, too young for summer university courses and often have a brand-new license and access to a car. Whether it’s earning money to use for college or to spend on gas or at the mall, teens typically spend a good portion of their summers working their first jobs in restaurants and shops. These jobs provide great opportunities for learning about the world outside of high school, and they can show them how to cultivate skills and build a resume. However, some of these same jobs also have the potential to cause injury in work-related accidents.

Most summer jobs have a high turn-over rate because employers know that their high school employees will be cutting back on hours drastically once school is back in session -- or they may quit altogether if they have academic or athletic obligations after school. For some employers, this makes extensive training and preparation a drain, especially if an employee is only going to be working for a few short months. Add in some vacation time and days off and teen employees may only be working a few full weeks during their summer.

Despite the nature of summer employment, there are some professions where serious and thorough training is necessary to protect employees and keep them from harm while they are on the job. Landscaping, for example, requires knowledge of how to work with the tools safely, including everything from a riding mower to electric saws and hedge clippers. Even work environments where the tasks do not require specialized tools, such as in bakeries or restaurants, still have hidden dangers that a young teen working his or her first job would not know about or know to guard against.

Fires and Explosions

Many high school kids have their first jobs in the food industry, working in kitchens and dining rooms. In these environments, hot stoves and ovens are running almost constantly and the risk for burns and other related injuries is high. In a recent incident just this summer, an 18-year-old high school senior was hospitalized with severe third-degree burns while working at a bagel shop in Mountain Lakes, New Jersey.

During the girl’s shift, a can of cooking spray fell to the floor and rolled under a grill. The heat caused the can to explode and started a fire that burned the teen. She will have to undergo surgical procedures and her medical bills are extremely costly. While this accident could have been avoided, it is yet to be determined whether the employer will be held responsible.

Parents should be aware of where their children are working and what tasks they are expected to perform. On-the-job injuries can result in a lot of medical bills, expenses and life changes during the recovery process. If your child has been injured at his or her summer job, contact a New Jersey injury lawyer at Helmer, Conley, and Kasselman, PA, for a consultation today.

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