Students bring a lot of value to small businesses in New York. With no classes during the summer, students can work flexible schedules. Plus, they often work for low wages and bring fresh new ideas to the company. However, of the 19% of small businesses expected to hire student workers this summer, 27% do not offer any safety training. This can pose some serious workplace safety issues.
Most of the jobs, 42%, are for office work, in which hazards are rare, but can still exist. The scary part is that 41% of the jobs are for construction work, which can be a very dangerous industry. Without proper training, a company is setting itself up for disaster, should a serious work-related accident occur. Retail and restaurant positions make up the remaining 17% of summer jobs for students.
Although summers are short and companies may feel a time crunch to quickly train employees, the health and safety of all employees, even students working temporarily, should be a priority. These students are eligible for workers' compensation benefits should they become ill or injured in the workplace. Companies are liable for any accidents that occur due to a lack of training, and these accidents can be very costly.
Employees have the right to work in a safe environment. Those who feel they cannot carry out their job duties due to an unsafe environment should speak up and voice their concerns. If employers do not remedy the situation, they can face citations and hefty fines. Therefore, it is in a company's best interest to provide training and a safe working environment.
Source: Claims Journal, "Workplace Safety Training Minimal for Student Workers: Survey," June 26, 2014