The number of teens in the workforce is increasing. In 1999, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 57% of 14 year olds have some working experience.
Safety in the workplace is very important, but a HealthDay News report shows that 17.5% of working teens surveyed reported using power slicing tools or grinders, something minors are forbidden to do under federal law. Nearly half of those teens reported engaging in at least one work activity that's illegal for people under 18 years of age.
Here are the guidelines set by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for teenagers under 18 in the workplace.
- May not operate a motor vehicle as a regular part of your job
- May not operate a fork lift or many types of other power equipment such as a meat slicer, circular saw, or a box crusher
- May not work in wrecking, demolition, roofing, or excavation
- May not work in meat packing or slaughtering
- May not work in mining, logging, or in a saw mill
- May not work where there is exposure to radiation
- May not work where explosives are manufactured or stored
If you are an employed teen under 18 and are being asked to do any of these things, please tell a supervisor at work, an adult at home or your schools career counselor.