Most youth find paid employment, either during the summer or year-round, before graduating from high school. Young workers, ages 14-24, are at risk of workplace injury because of their inexperience at work and their physical, cognitive, and emotional developmental characteristics. They often hesitate to ask questions and may fail to recognize workplace dangers. OSHA has made young workers a priority within the agency and is committed to identifying ways to improve young worker safety and health. OSHA's Young Worker Initiative addresses this group's safety and health through a multi-pronged outreach program.
OSHA offers multiple outreach resources to help young workers and their employers, parents, and teachers prevent and reduce injuries and illnesses in the workplace.
Teen Workers Safety and Health Topics page http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/teenworkers/index.html
- Information about teen worker rights and responsibilities.
- Informational resources directed toward teens, parents, employers, and teachers.
- Real stories about teens injured or killed at work.
- Descriptions of potential workplace hazards and how to prevent injury.
- Sections on seasonal jobs (summer and winter), their hazards, and injury prevention.
- Electronic tools on young worker safety and health in agriculture and in restaurants.
- Young worker resources in Spanish.
- Teen Workers – Brochure, OSHA 3244
- Teen Workers – Poster, OSHA 3231
This brochure and poster describe teens' right to a safe and healthy workplace and their responsibility to be safe.
- YouthRules! programs in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division which include a summer job fair and activities to promote workplace safety and health, and child labor laws.
- Participation with career/technical education organizations in meetings and student career/technical skills competitions. www.youthrules.dol.gov
- Several of OSHA's Regional and Area Offices periodically offer training for career/technical teachers for use in school occupational safety and health courses. Other OSHA offices have worked with youth groups on safety and health programs and developed training for youth in specific workplaces.
- OSHA awards Susan Harwood Training Grants to nonprofit organizations for preparation of occupational safety and health curricula for audiences including young workers. www.osha.gov/dte/sharwood/index.html
- OSHA's Alliance Program enables employers, trade or professional organizations, and educational institutions interested in young workers to collaborate with OSHA on projects to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses in this age group. Alliances that include a prominent young worker safety and health component include the American Society of Safety Engineers, the Industrial Truck Association, and the National Safety Council and SkillsUSA. www.osha.gov/dcsp/alliances/focus/youth_ alliances.html
- OSHA has Young Worker Coordinators in each of the 10 OSHA regions to assist a variety of groups including employers, small businesses, trade associations, and community groups with outreach, education, and training for young workers. These coordinators meet periodically by teleconference to discuss, plan, and evaluate OSHA young worker programs.
- OSHA founded and organizes periodic meetings of the Federal Network for Young Worker Safety and Health (FedNet), 11 federal agencies that collaborate to maximize the impact of federal resources for young worker safety and health while avoiding duplication of effort. FedNet products include an informational packet about youth fatalities in illegal forklift operations, checklists to guide teens through a first employment experience, and an article about protecting young workers from workplace violence. www.youngworkers.net
For more complete information:
U.S. Department of Labor
www.osha.gov (800) 321-OSHA
Safety and Health
www.osha.gov (800) 321-OSHA