Safety Focused: Working With Young Co-workers and Staying Safe on Vacation

Thursday July 24, 2014

BrendaBoomer2013-new"The summer months often mean working with seasonal employees, supervising younger workers is an important safety measure" Brenda Boomer | Working With Young Co-workers Summer is finally here, meaning you can look forward to warmer weather, longer days and all sorts of outdoor fun. But summer is not just about leisure—for many young people, summer is a time for seasonal employment to make money while on break from school. As an experienced worker, you may be tasked with assisting or mentoring a younger worker this summer. For many of these temporary young workers, this is their first foray into the working world. They require special supervision to ensure their jobs are done safely and correctly. Instead of dismissing a new young worker as just another co-worker, provide him or her with additional support. It will make your job easier, keep you and your co-workers safe, and may save you from having to fix innocent mistakes. Because they are new to the workplace, many young workers may be unfamiliar with the risks associated with machines, equipment and substances that you and your co-workers think are obvious. Be patient with young co-workers, as their physical and psychological immaturity can make them eager to please, but overzealous. In their eagerness, young workers may make dangerous mistakes. They can avoid such mistakes with your help and supervision. Staying Safe on Your Summer Vacation Summer is peak vacation season. Whether you plan on traveling abroad this summer or staying put, follow these tips to stay safe: Purchase travel insurance. If you travel abroad and require health care, you will often have to pay part, if not all, of your medical bills. Travel insurance can help shrink these large medical payments. Swim at beaches with lifeguards. No matter where you travel, stick to beaches with lifeguards. Rip currents and other seaside hazards can quickly turn a perfect day at the beach into a deadly situation. Plan outdoor activities. Rather than improvising your outdoor excursions, plan them in advance to avoid any surprises. Check the weather and bring enough food and water. Wear appropriate clothing. Dress in clothing that is suitable for the weather, such as loose clothing when it’s hot. Forgo your sandals for more comfortable tennis shoes if you plan on walking all day, and bring a raincoat just in case. Stay safe in the sun. Protect yourself from sunburn and heat exhaustion. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. Reapply your sunscreen every time after going in the water. Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated is key to keeping healthy and enjoying your vacation. If you travel somewhere with a limited water supply, rely on bottled water you purchased beforehand. Tell family and friends where you are going. Your loved ones should know where you are in case you need help in an emergency. Maintain contact and carry a fully charged cellphone wherever you go. Real-life Case Study Two friends traveled to Ocean City, New Jersey, for a three-week-long summer surfing vacation. They were both avid surfers, and felt comfortable seeking out the best beaches. Toward the end of their vacation, one friend decided to stay in for the day, while the other wanted to spend their few remaining days on the water. Without telling his friend where he was going, the surfer headed to a beach he had not previously surfed but that had been favorably reviewed. After several hours by himself, he decided to return to his hotel room. While paddling back to the beach, the surfer was caught in an unexpected current which sucked him beneath the surface and dragged him along underwater rocks, knocking him unconscious. His body washed onshore and laid there for several hours. His friend, meanwhile, had been looking for him and knew he had wanted to try that particular beach, and found him there, still unconscious. Because of his friend’s quick thinking, the surfer suffered only minor injuries. The Top Five Health Risks For Vacationers: Motion Sickness Traveler's diarrhea Jet Lag Sunburn Bug bites/stings