The first job for many young workers is in the restaurant industry, especially in fast-food establishments. Restaurants and other retail businesses rank high among U.S. industries for risk of adolescent worker injuries. OSHA offers these resources related to restaurants and retail businesses:
Each year, more than 2 million young people under the age of 20 are exposed to farm-related safety hazards. OSHA developed a tool that describes common agricultural hazards and offers potential safety solutions that both employers and young workers can use to prevent accidents and avoid injury on the job:
OSHA has also posted helpful information for young workers in construction and landscaping about head and eye protection, protective shoes, hearing protection, lifting, shoveling, and sun and hydration:
OSHA has developed animated videos that show how quickly workers can be injured or killed on the job. The videos are intended to assist in the identification, reduction and elimination of construction-related hazards.
OSHA has developed a nationwide outreach campaign to raise awareness among workers and employers about the hazards of falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs. Falls can be prevented and lives can be saved through three simple steps: Plan. Provide. Train.
OSHA encourages outdoor workers to seek water, rest and shade. Learn more at:
Many workers are also exposed to heat on some jobs or in hot indoor environments. Operations involving high air temperatures, radiant heat sources, high humidity or direct physical contact with hot objects or strenuous physical activities have a high potential for causing heat-related illness. Learn more at:
U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division
The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division assists teens, parents, employers and educators in understanding federal and state rules concerning young workers through its Youth Rules! website, which offers these resources:
Taking out the trash is one of the duties commonly assigned to teen workers in retail and service establishments. While most of the duties associated with taking out the trash are safe for teens to perform, loading trash into a compactor or baler can present both safety hazards and potential violations of the federal child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Learn more at:
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
NIOSH is the federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness. NIOSH's Young Worker Workplace Safety & Health Topics Page includes these resources:
- Preventing Deaths, Injuries, and Illnesses of Young Workers [303 KB PDF, 3 pages]. This publication summarizes available information about work-related injuries among young workers, identifies work that is especially hazardous and offers recommendations for preventing injuries and illnesses.
- Youth@Work: Talking Safety. This curriculum on occupational safety and health can be used in classroom or other group trainings. It has been customized for each state and Puerto Rico to address state-specific rules and regulations and includes step-by-step instructions for educators.
- Are You a Teen Worker? This guide gives young workers the facts they need to stay safe and healthy at work. It also shows young workers what jobs they can (and cannot) do and teaches them about their rights and responsibilities.
- Safe Work for Youth in Construction-Information for Employers. This pamphlet describes risks for young workers doing construction work and provides recommendations for employers on how to prevent young worker injuries and deaths.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Can You Dig It? [2 MB PDF, 2 pages]
This pamphlet, developed by several federal and state agencies, is targeted to workers less than 24 years of age in landscaping, greenhouses and nurseries. It provides information on relevant age restrictions in federal child labor laws, safety and health hazards associated with this work, employee rights, and contact information for relevant federal agencies. En español [2 MB PDF, 2 pages]
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) website for youth in the workforce is Youth@Work. The EEOC's goal is to eliminate illegal discrimination from the workplace for all workers. This website is designed to teach youth about some of their rights and responsibilities as an employee.