Young Worker Safety in Restaurants
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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How do I find out about employer responsibilities and worker rights?

Workers have a right to a safe workplace. The law requires employers to provide their employees with working conditions that are free of known dangers. The OSHA law also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under the law (including the right to raise a health and safety concern or report an injury). For more information see or worker rights.

OSHA has a great deal of information to assist employers in complying with their responsibilities under the OSHA law.

OSHA can help answer questions or concerns from employers and workers. To reach your regional or area OSHA office, go to OSHA's Regional & Area Offices webpage or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).

Small business employers may contact OSHA's free and confidential on-site consultation service to help determine whether there are hazards at their worksites and work with OSHA on correcting any identified hazards. On-site consultation services are separate from enforcement activities and do not result in penalties or citations. To contact OSHA's free consultation service, go to OSHA's On-site Consultation webpage or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) and press number 4.

Workers may file a complaint to have OSHA inspect their workplace if they believe that their employer is not following OSHA standards or that there are serious hazards. Employees can file a complaint with OSHA by calling 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), online via eCompliant Form, or by printing the complaint form and mailing or faxing it to your local OSHA area office. Complaints that are signed by an employee are more likely to result in an inspection.

If you think your job is unsafe or you have questions, contact OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742). It's confidential. We can help. For other valuable worker protection information, such as Workers' Rights, Employer Responsibilities, and other services OSHA offers, visit OSHA's Workers' page.

*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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