It's not uncommon to have your first job while you are in high school. So the PASSES program, Parents for Student Safety Employment Standards, teaches students how to stay safe from hazards in the workplace.
"From the very minor things that you may not think about that could have a great impact to your own safety equipment, making sure you wear your personal protective gear. Know the different hazards that are at different work stations," said Alec Lesko, Trainer, PASSES.
The workshop starts off with basics like lifting techniques to how to correctly use a ladder that supports your height. Knowing the type of protective gear you will need to use for certain jobs, whether it's goggles, hard hats, or masks to prevent injuries, is also important.
"My dad does work in a construction company so I didn't know that a 17 year old couldn't be on ladders. So that was something I really like learning," said Kaitlyn Seelen, student.
Another hazard teens could encounter are different gases and chemicals. If it's through inhalation, absorption or ingestion, exposure to certain chemicals, like ammonia, could be dangerous.
Some of the key factors to remember are: knowing how to properly handle chemicals, having ventilation, only using one cleaner at a time, and not mixing chemicals.
"There are those that have come out and said those things have happened to me cleaning my own bathroom. So they understand that when you have these effects, they could have long affects on you," Lesko said.
Students also learned what their rights are as an underage employee.
There are certain tasks they can't do like heavy lifting, working late night hours, exceeding five hours of work without lunch, and working without a permit.
"I can tell by their reactions when I'm looking around the room that they're listening, and some of the things that they're seeing are hitting home," said Sandy Meyskens, educator, MARESA.
"Many of us are either in or entering the workforce and we don't know some of this stuff. It's really important to know this, so you don't, like, not come home from work one day," said Skyler Dakota, student.
All students enrolled in a career technical class will participate in the workshop.
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