Safety Awareness for Student Workers in North Carolina
March is Students@Work Month in North Carolina. According to Governor Cooper’s proclamation, more than 46,000 students will participate in shadowing and work-based learning across the State this month. What a wonderful chance for our youngsters to experience the real world and learn to become productive workers themselves!
Safety for students
Ricci Law Firm regularly helps workers, young and old, who contract diseases or get injured on the job. Many of these injuries and diseases could have been prevented through proper safety regulations, training procedures, and warnings. No worries, parents – according to its website, the Students@Work program takes steps to ensure that student participants do not visit dangerous worksites where the risk of injury is high. Instead, the program allows students, from a safe vantage point, to see the real day-to-day action of employees in a wide array of workplaces.
Safety for future workers
Although these student workers may be sheltered from danger during their shadowing period, let’s look forward. With this new generation of future leaders (and their fresh eyes and impressionable minds) entering offices, plants, and factories across North Carolina this month, why not take this opportunity to emphasize workplace safety and rules compliance? If our future workers place a high priority on safety now, they probably will continue to do so in a few years when they enter the workforce. A few basic but often-forgotten safety pointers from Arbill Safety may make their shadowing experience more enjoyable and productive:
1) Be Aware of Your Surroundings
2) Keep Correct Posture to Protect Your Back
3) Take Regular Breaks
4) Use Tools and Machines Properly
5) Keep Emergency Exits Easily Accessible
6) Report Unsafe Conditions to Your Supervisor
7) Use Mechanical Aids Whenever Possible
8) Stay Sober
9) Reduce Workplace Stress
10) Wear the Correct Safety Equipment
Yes, the above steps may seem obvious, but the attorneys at Ricci Law Firm regularly see serious injuries and even deaths arising from workers who either forget or choose not to follow this basic advice. A basic safety reminder never hurt anyone, even an experienced worker. As for young workers first joining the workforce, hopefully their employers or mentors teach them correct safety procedure. If not, perhaps the safety training they received years earlier while shadowing may end up saving the day.
And if a workplace accident or disease does occur? Let’s teach our students about the Workers’ Compensation Act and those best practices, too:
- Report the injury immediately
- Document names and contact information of witnesses
- Promptly seek medical care
- Describe all symptoms, not just the highest priority symptom
- Seek attorney advice before talking to an adjuster or signing papers
Workplace safety is about more than prevention. Compliance with reporting requirements is key to receiving competent medical care, healing, and getting back to work. North Carolina continues to be a leader in student training and workforce development, and we at Ricci Law Firm are proud of the steps being taken to introduce students to the workforce. As new generations of workers enter North Carolina workplaces, let’s take steps to ensure all workers stay safe and healthy.