The challenge to supervisors-- making young workers safe workers


Material Information

The challenge to supervisors-- making young workers safe workers
Physical Description:
12 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
United States -- Bureau of Labor Standards
U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Standards :
U.S. G.P.O. :
For sale by the Supt. of Docs., U.S. G.P.O.
Place of Publication:
Washington, D.C.
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Industrial safety -- United States   ( lcsh )
Youth -- Employment -- United States   ( lcsh )
Child labor -- United States   ( lcsh )
federal government publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


General Note:
Cover title.
General Note:
"O-217-020"--P. 3 of cover.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 028011782
oclc - 43610636
System ID:

This item is only available as the following downloads:

Full Text
The Challenge to Supervisors ...



I |.1Z

5 Ct




The Challenge
to Supervisors




Over 5/2 million youngsters under 18 step up
to paymasters' windows around the Nation each
year to collect wages earned on the job. If they
were all to line up an arm's length apart at the
same window, the line would stretch from New
York to Los Angeles and 400 miles out into the

These young people are working, learning,
producing. The young worker says he "has a
job," the educator speaks of his "having a learn-
ing experience," but you, the supervisor, think
of him as part of the "crew" and production.
You want to be a good supervisor-one who
can "work with kids." But a hundred questions
go through your mind-

How can I help these youngsters become
good workers, to be safe from injury, a
credit to themselves and to my employer?
How do young workers differ from older

Would a different approach help?
What do I have to watch for?
Who can help me?
Many of the answers to these and other ques-
tions can be found in supervising for better
safety, and this booklet can help you.

How Safety Supervision Works
Safety supervision means giving to young
workers guidance and direction which blends
safety so deeply into every act that it becomes
second nature in everything they do. It starts
with you, the supervisor, with your personal at-
titude toward safety, with the importance you
place upon safety in your work. It is the basic
prerequisite to a safety program and one in
which everyone benefits-the young worker
completes his job free of injury, the employer
obtains quality and quantity production at lower
cost, society can look forward to a self-sustaining
citizen, and you, as supervisor, have the satis-
faction that comes with a job well done. You
have proof of your effectiveness in handling
young workers.

Safety Emphasis Needed
The facts on injuries to young workers under-
score the need for supervision geared to safety.
Almost 17,000 injuries to young workers under
18 years of age were reported for an 18-month
period by 28 States voluntarily reporting to the
U.S. Department of Labor. This figure does not
represent a nationwide experience or the total
of such injuries actually occurring in these
States; however, a whole series of accidental in-
juries were revealed that many supervisors
never "figured" would happen to young people.
But they did happen! The true cost to the
youth, his family, the supervisor, and the em-
ployer will never be fully known. Where death
resulted-as it did-no scale of values can re-
flect the loss. It is certain that one or more weak

links in the safety program broke down. Per-
haps a supervisor did not know why young
workers need special emphasis on safety.
Young people need safety supervision at work
because they are young and act young. They
are seeking to become adults-and seeking oc-
cupies much of their energy. They are preoc-
cupied with growing, in mind and in body.
Each one develops at his own unique rate.


His muscle and bone development may spurt
and outstrip the growth of his heart, so he tires
easily; outwardly, he may appear lazy, though
he is not. Coordination of newly developed
muscles may be the problem-he is awkward
in movement, he bumps into objects, or he may
easily drop what he is carrying.
And, many a young person's mind is in a tur-
moil, too. Youth is his time for probing into the
adult world, and the searching is intense. He
wants to throw off the protective cloak of child-
hood, yet the transition is difficult and he is un-
sure. His mind may wander from his work into
daydreaming, which is the only outward sign of
the restless probing going on in his mind. He
finds it difficult to stay interested in one job very
long-there's so much to learn. He's curious;
everything is interesting.
For some, taking risks becomes a challenge to
be met; it's another (false) way of proving that
they're "arriving" as adults, unafraid of any-


thing. A youngster's need to prove himself to
himself may be so strong, in fact, that he will
bet his life on chance-taking, although he may
never realize that's what he's doing, or that he
may pay for it the rest of his life.
In this young mind, concerned with so many
problems of growing up, the pressure of adult
demands may easily get lost or shunted aside.
Job directions need to be stated clearly and
firmly to compete with the personal thoughts
preoccupying his mind. Repetition of instruc-
tions is often necessary. When a youngster
must be asked repeatedly to do something, it
may indicate that he didn't understand the in-
structions clearly the first time or, if he did, he
didn't think the supervisor was serious about it.
Young people, naturally, need to have instruc-
tions repeated, coupled with firm, consistent
There are also differences in the educational
level among them which influence their ability
to understand. Job directions framed in speech
or writing for one level may not mean the same
thing to the "slow-learner." Any worker needs
to learn strange-sounding, technical language
and shoptalkk," but the problem for some is
heightened by language differences or limited
educational opportunities. Yet the words are
seemingly familiar to everyone else. Limited

mental capacity may limit the ability of a few
to understand and respond quickly to directions.
A good supervisor starts by recognizing the
special characteristics of young people. He
knows that above all they want adult approval
and want to do what is expected of them; but
they may find it extremely difficult to ask "please
show me how," lest it betray ignorance, open
them to ridicule, or show that they are not meas-
uring up to adult standards. Safety supervision
of young people uses the techniques to which
youth respond as individuals.

How To Go About
Developing Safe Attitudes
Your attitude can make the difference be-
tween success or failure in supervising young
people. It is characteristic of them to select a
person they respect as their model. This makes
teaching easier, but it also imposes a respon-
sibility. Once a young person has chosen a
model, he patterns his thoughts and actions on
what the model says and does. A supervisor
should be aware that frequently he is the model
selected by the young people who work for
him. Thus, it becomes extremely important for
him to set a good safety example and to rein-
force it in every contact with the young worker.
A supervisor who sets a safe example can do
far more to build safety into the young worker
than any number of pamphlets and talks. He

assigns young people to the kind of work they
can handle safely, and he sees that they develop
good habits by doing the work well. Whenever
possible, he places young people under the
wing of an older worker with experience and
know-how during the learning period. He
knows that young workers, like all humans, re-
act more favorably when they feel wanted and
respected and when success in their work is
noted. As the young worker gains experience
and confidence, he should be given more re-
sponsibility and voice in making suggestions
for improving work procedures and safety.
A supervisor soon finds that young people re-
spond to firm, just guidance and that they like
to belong to a winning team. They follow him
because he is the leader of their team and be-
cause they respect him. Their supervisor never
seems to "boss them around" and is always
ready to discuss job problems. Rather than use
a blunt "don't" approach, he explains a safety
rule, aware that this will result in cooperation,
rather than resentful compliance. Their super-
visor doesn't shout at them! If they must be
reprimanded for breaking a safety rule, he tries
to discuss it in private because he understands
young people are particularly sensitive to criti-
cism-this is how young workers learn that no
one is excepted from following the safety rules.
Their supervisor is able to instill a sense of high
self-esteem in them and the idea that they can
and will succeed on their job.
These are some of the ways to develop safe
attitudes. Other methods are: a safety program
in which young workers participate in its devel-
opment; special meetings for instructions; in-
formal contacts on and off the job; and safety
promotional materials, such as literature, post-
ers, and awards. All these approaches are
blended into a basic five-step plan geared to:
Select the worker for the job.
Tell him how to do it.
Show him how to do it.

Test him-let him do it.
Doublecheck his progress.

Selecting the right worker for the job involves
considering the young worker as an individual
and placing him on a job within his capabilities.
Physical size, stamina, educational level, mental
ability, and previous experience are matched
against the job requirements, with special con-
sideration given to the degree of independent
judgment required on the job.

The telling phase gives the young worker the
information he needs to do his job properly-
the details of his work, its methods and specific
safety practices. The telling phase also an-
swers the questions the young worker naturally
has about what his job is, where it is, how to
do it safely, who his coworkers are, where he
can go for help, and what is expected of him
and why.
SA"NOW... A,80UT
^O(, .JOB... U


The next step, the showing phase, is built on
the foundation laid down in the telling phase.
It demonstrates how the work is done so the
young worker actually sees all the actions in-
volved in the job, whether it is the operation of
a machine, handling boxes, using electrical
gadgets, or climbing a ladder. It is at this time
that the young worker begins to see that safe
actions are an important part of his regular work
procedure-to do the job in any other way is to
do it incorrectly.

" HERE' hOW WE SE A ...

While the showing phase makes the job un-
derstandable, the young worker must actually
experience the actions if he is to learn them. In
the testing phase, the young worker tries out
the job actions himself, with the supervisor
standing by. This is the first opportunity the
young worker can actually see himself as part
of the accident prevention effort.

"NNW You TRY I/rT/

The actions and safe practices learned in the
telling, showing, and testing phases will not be-
come automatic immediately. The young
worker will need reminders; his learning will
need to be reinforced. The doublecheck phase
builds repetition into the program and makes
sure that the young worker gets these reminders.
The last but unending phase of the training
process includes checking back, observing, and
evaluating the young employee's work methods
to make sure that he is continuing to use the safe
practices taught him. Any unsafe practices ob-
served are discussed and corrected immediately.

When Is the Program Successful?
Regardless of the size of the operation, the ef-
fectiveness of the program can be measured by
how well young workers reflect safety attitudes
in their speech and actions.
Do the young workers' actions reflect their
belief that safety practices are an unques-
tioned part of their job procedures?


Do they make safety suggestions frequently
and voluntarily which show they feel per-
sonally involved and responsible for safety
on the job?
Do they reflect belief that safe work methods
are the mark of a skilled workman?
Do they show an awareness of responsi-
bility for the safety of their fellow workers?
Whom do they select as their model of a
safe worker?
Personal observation will bring answers to
most of these questions. Other answers may
come from traditional "feedback"-the casual
information that comes back to a supervisor
through informal discussions and worker com-
ments. A good supervisor listens for feedback.
It is up to the supervisor to judge the really
meaningful indicators of progress, or the lack of
them, and up to him to determine and to take the
necessary corrective actions. Perhaps a probe
lem calls for a special training session; the rep-
etition of a previous one. In some cases, a
particular worker might need reassignment to a
different job or with a different group of work-
ers. Perhaps the solution calls for outside
assistance. That help is available.

Sources of Program Assistance
Assistance in strengthening your safety pro-
gram for young people may be as close as the
telephone or as inexpensive as a postage stamp.
Many private organizations and government
agencies are ready and willing to assist in iden-
tifying safety problems and developing solutions

if they are only asked to do so. A phone call
might bring helpful safety services and literature
from a local safety council, a local chapter of
the American Society of Safety Engineers, other
employers and their safety engineers, or from

local business or labor groups. Industrial arts
instructors in the local schools may have many
excellent suggestions for other resources. State
departments of labor and health frequently have
staff personnel assigned to safety promotion-
these persons are in a key position to know of
successful ideas and where assistance might be
available. The U.S. Department of Labor's Bu-
reau of Labor Standards has a variety of litera-
ture available upon request which deals
specifically with safety for young employees.
The National Safety Council (425 North Michi-
gan Avenue, Chicago, Ill., 60611) has a great
volume of literature and other materials avail-
able at moderate cost which can aid in safety
training and program promotion. Many insur-
ance companies have safety program counsel-
ing services.

The Supervisor's Challenge
Young people, at work or play, are in training
for adulthood. It is through their first work ex-
perience that they learn some of the responsi-

abilities of maturity and become fitted to assume
them. A most important influence in their early
working life is the impression gained from their
first work supervisor. It is he who forms one
of the main bridges for their transition from
young workers to mature, safe, and productive
members of society. That is the challenge to
the supervisor of young employees-to make
safety alive and part of living for young workers.


W. Willard Wirtz, Secretary
Nelson M. Bortz, Director


For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government
Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402 Price 10 cents


S111111 llli1111111111111111111111111
3 1262 08860 0332

I. I
qb 9


# 0

:)1 I

4. -V.

Full Text
xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8
REPORT xmlns http:www.fcla.edudlsmddaitss xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.fcla.edudlsmddaitssdaitssReport.xsd
INGEST IEID EXG0S9QJK_RB2YBY INGEST_TIME 2013-04-08T23:38:09Z PACKAGE AA00013764_00001