Young Worker Safety in Restaurants
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Restaurants and other eating and drinking businesses employ 11.6 million people in the United States. Nearly 30% of these employees are under 20 years of age. Many young workers' first work experience is in the restaurant industry. OSHA is providing this eTool to help young workers in the restaurant industry be safe and healthy on the job.



This eTool* describes common hazards and potential safety solutions for teen workers and employers in the restaurant industry.

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Workers' Rights

Workers have the right to:

  • Working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm.
  • Receive information and training (in a language and vocabulary the worker understands) about workplace hazards, methods to prevent them, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace.
  • Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
  • File a complaint asking OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA's rules. OSHA will keep all identities confidential.
  • Exercise their rights under the law without retaliation, including reporting an injury or raising health and safety concerns with their employer or OSHA. If a worker has been retaliated against for using their rights, they must file a complaint with OSHA as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days.

For additional information, see OSHA's Workers page.

How to Contact OSHA

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov or call OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), TTY 1-877-889-5627.


*eTools are illustrated, interactive web-based training tools on occupational safety and health topics. As indicated in the disclaimer, eTools do not create new standard or regulation, and create no new legal obligations. eTools are advisory in nature, informational in content, and are intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthful workplace through effective prevention programs adapted to the needs of each place of employment.

Not all of the guidance contained in this e-Tool may be appropriate or practical for every foodservice establishment operator, particularly small facilities. Example employer approaches are provided for many of the preventive measures listed in the e-Tool. These examples should not be regarded as minimum standards. Nor should the examples provided be considered an inclusive list of all potential approaches to achieving the goal of the preventive measure. Employers should consider the goal of the preventive measure, assess whether the goal is relevant to their operation, and if it is, design an approach that is both efficient and effective to accomplish the goal under their current conditions.

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