As the “Unofficial Start of Summer” begins with the passing of Memorial Day, thousands of students country-wide will be entering the workforce during their summer breaks…. but are all summer jobs safe for teen workers?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the answer to that question is no. Workers under the age of 18 are prohibited from employment in any occupations declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor.

Preventing Tragedies

And with good reason. No one wants to have to face the horrible responsibility of causing a young person’s injury or death, as a New York dairy farmer found after being charged with the death of a 14-year-old worker who was pinned under a skid loader he was using to move bales of hay.

While there may be some gray areas, most of the safety standards regarding young worker restrictions in hazardous jobs is pretty black and white.

For example, anyone under 18 is banned from occupations involving:

  • Manufacturing or storing explosives
  • Driving a motor vehicle or working as an outside helper on motor vehicles
  • Use of power-driving woodworking machines
  • Roofing and work performed on or about a roof
  • Trenching or excavating

Purchase NASP’s Certified Safety Manager Course

About the Author

Jon Knight

Jon Knight leads the NASP Team’s media creation department. He has been involved with workplace safety training since 2017 with a focus on course creation. He also provides video production and voiceovers for NASP content.
Home » Blog » Jobs Workers Under 18 Cannot Do