Part time jobs, especially seasonal ones, are often the only entry level positions teenagers can find. One of the fallouts of the Great Recession was many retirees being forced back to work, and many of the jobs teenagers used to get were filled by people with dozens of years more experience.
Unfortunately, many seasonal and part time jobs are run by companies who don’t have a vested interest in running a long-term reputable business. Corners get cut, and pressure is put on employees not to report the many safety hazards they might encounter on a day-to-day basis. Teenagers often lack good judgment, and they will go along with whatever they are told to get their paycheck.
There’s no way to know for sure if the recent death of an 18-year-old in Idaho was caused by negligence. What we do know is that the situation doesn’t sound safe. The young man was working at a local corn maze, dressing up as a zombie for an event where customers on a bus could shoot paintballs at him and others. He was required to rush the bus, a very dangerous thing to do to any moving vehicle. He was caught under the wheels of the bus and killed.
As parents, we are at least somewhat responsible for the well-being of our children, even after they turn 18. We need to counsel them to make good decisions, and we need to teach them to be safe. That means teaching them to voice their opinions if they feel their life could be endangered. In the mean time, you can encourage your working children to:
- Speak up to their supervisor if they are unsure of something
- Report unsafe conditions to the proper authorities
- Refuse to take part in any activity they do not feel is safe
- Report any lapses in maintenance to the proper authorities
For this young man’s parents, it’s already too late. The only thing that can be done now is to get justice for his family. If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, it is up to you to make sure the same dangerous conditions do not lead to someone else getting injured or killed. Contact an attorney to help you force the business to do the right thing.