Safety Precautions for Teen Employees When Using Cleaning Products

Safety Precautions for Teen Employees When Using Cleaning Products

by / Wednesday, 20 October 2021 / Published in Workplace Woes
Gloves, sponges, and cleaning products.

When teens start thinking about getting their first job, they generally don’t think about them in terms of opportunities to work with chemicals. But while teens aren’t working in places like scientific laboratories, chemicals are widely used in many other types of jobs that teens may find themselves working.

For example, sanitation is crucial anywhere food is being served so employees may need to use things like harsh detergents and oven/grill cleaners while working in a restaurant. Or if a job requires general cleaning duties, many types of cleansers can be dangerous if not used safely. These types of products can potentially result in respiratory issues, skin irritation, eye injuries if contact is made, or chemical burns. As important as these types of chemicals may be, it’s equally important that employers take steps to protect all employees who need to use them.

Employee Training

Simple training can go a long way in preventing injuries and can be particularly valuable for teen employees who aren’t experienced in working with these types of harsh chemicals. Training can include information like how to prevent coming in contact with the chemicals, which products should not be combined (bleach and ammonia, for one), if products need to be diluted before use, how to read labels on containers, and what to do if they come in contact with the chemical. 

Protective Equipment

In addition to providing basic safety training, protective gear is crucial for safely working with chemicals. Things like gloves and protective eyewear are very effective ways to prevent extremely painful injuries. Many types of chemicals can be absorbed by the skin, so it’s important to have an extra layer of protection whenever possible. Exposure to an abrasive cleaner, for instance, may break the skin by causing irritation or a burn, leaving it more vulnerable to infection. 

Ventilation

Certain types of chemicals may need to be used in well-ventilated areas. In that case, there needs to be a location where those chemicals can be handled safely. If these types of chemicals are used in poorly-ventilated areas, it can potentially lead to respiratory illnesses, headaches, and dizziness.

Get Help from a Michigan Workplace Injury Lawyer

Just because a worker is young, that doesn’t give employers a pass to make them work in dangerous situations. But unfortunately, many employers are willing to take advantage of young employees who don’t know their rights in the workplace. 

Every year, many teens are injured on the job and they deserve compensation for those injuries just like an adult employee would be. At Goodwin & Scieszka, you’ll be able to talk to a Michigan-based workplace injury lawyer who can help answer your questions and help you understand your rights. Contact us today to get started.

Image: ds_30 / Pixabay

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