Why are age restrictions important? There are certain milestones in age which must be passed before we can driver a car, drink a beer or vote in an election. The reason behind age restrictions is pretty simple- it takes time to grow up. Life experiences as well as physical and emotional maturity play a big factor in the decisions we make. When those decisions impact the safety of ourselves and others, the wrong choice can be life altering.
Understanding that young people must have the opportunity to learn through experience, the age restrictions applied to employment are fairly reasonable. Child labor laws determine how long (hours per day/week) and what type of work a person under the age of 18 can legally perform. Employers who abide by child labor laws provide young workers with a chance to learn through experience and make mistakes that are not life threatening.
Once a person reaches the age of 18 age restrictions in terms of employment are a thing of the past. No longer limited in the type of work or the number of hours worked per week, young workers have more employment opportunities. This is when the true work experience begins.
Lacking experience and in some cases the maturity to make the best decisions, younger workers may be at an increased risk of being in an accident or getting injured on the job. To prevent workplace accidents and allow young workers to gain the experience and maturity needed to perform job duties safely and responsibly, employers are urged to provide proper training and supervision. In doing so, employers make the workplace safer for all employees while at the same time reducing workers’ compensation claims resulting from an accident at work.