- Know the Rules
- Find Support
- Teen Work Stories
- News & Resources
- The Law Library
- About YouthRules!
Be sure you are doing your part to keep your young workers safe. Use these self-assessment tools to check your knowledge of, and compliance with, regulations that apply to your young workers.
Non-agricultural employer self-assessment tool
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division produced this self assessment tool to help employers comply with the child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the implementing regulations at 29 C.F.R. Part 570. These provisions are designed to protect young workers by restricting the types of jobs they perform and the number of hours they work. The U.S. Department of Labor strives to educate teens, parents, educators, and employers on the federal child labor rules in order to promote positive and safe work experiences for young workers. One of our biggest challenges, however, is disseminating the information and identifying potential problems before injuries or, even worse, deaths, occur.
You can use this tool to help evaluate your firm’s level of compliance. You are not required to use this tool, but we believe you will find it helpful in preventing problems and achieving compliance with the federal child labor provisions. Do not send this completed tool to the Department of Labor.
If you answer YES to any questions, you are likely out of compliance.
Minors under 18 generally may not drive any type of motor vehicle or work as an outside helper on public roads or highways. This prohibition extends to the towing of vehicles and the driving of school buses and trucks. There is a limited exception to this provision that permits 17-year-olds to drive an automobile or truck (gross vehicle weight not exceeding 6,000 pounds) for limited periods of time when certain conditions are met. These conditions include that the minors possess a valid license, the driving is only during daylight hours, the driving does not involve urgent time sensitive deliveries such as delivering a pizza to a residence, and the driving is only occasional and incidental to their employment. There are additional requirements that also must be met. (HO 2) See 29 CFR § 570.52, Driving Automobiles and Trucks Fact Sheet.
Minors under 18 may not be employed in occupations in or about any mine. There are limited exceptions for 16- and 17-year olds for the occupation of slate or other refuse picking at a picking table or picking chute in a tipple or breaker and for occupations requiring the performance of duties solely in offices or in repair or maintenance shops located in the surface part of any coal-mining plant. (HOs 3 and 9) See 29 CFR § 570.53, 29 CFR § 570.60.
Minors under 18 may not be employed in most occupations in forest fire fighting, forest fire prevention, timber tract management, forestry services, logging, and in the operation of any sawmill, lath mill, shingle mill or cooperage-stock mill. These prohibitions include tree planting and tree thinning operations. There are limited exceptions involving the construction and operation of logging camps and fire fighting base camps. In addition, certain forest fire prevention work is permitted when not performed in conjunction with extinguishing an actual fire. (HO 4) See 29 CFR § 570.54,and FOH § 33h04.
There are also limited exceptions for minors who are at least 14 years old and by statute or judicial order are exempt from compulsory school attendance beyond the eighth grade that permit them to perform some work inside a sawmill. Such youth may not, however, operate or assist in the operation of any power-driven woodworking machines. (HO 4) See 29 CFR § 570.54, 29 CFR § 570.34(m), and Fact Sheet 55.
Minors under 18 may not operate, set-up, adjust, repair, oil or clean any power-driven wood-working machines, including chain saws, nailing machines and sanders. They also may not perform any off-bearing activities from circular saws or from guillotine-action veneer clippers or feed (or help feed) materials into the machines. A limited exception applies to 16- and 17-year olds that allows them to place materials on a moving chain or in a hopper or slide for automatic feeding. The regulations also provide a limited exemption for apprentices and student-learners who are at least 16 years of age and enrolled in approved programs. (HO 5) See 29 CFR § 570.55.
Minors under 18 may not be employed in occupations that would expose them to radioactive substances and to ionizing radiations. (HO 6) See 29 CFR § 570.57.
Minors under age 18 may not operate or assist in the operation of an elevator, crane, derrick, hoist, or high-lift truck (except operating an unattended automatic operation passenger elevator) and may not perform any work which involves riding on a manlift, high-lift truck, or on a freight elevator (except a freight elevator operated by an assigned operator). Examples of other power-driven hoisting equipment that such youth may not operate or assist in operating include: forktruck, forklift truck, tiering truck, stacking truck, Bobcat loader, backhoe, front end loader, skid steer loader and skid loader. Prohibited manlifts include scissor lifts, cherry pickers, boom trucks, and work assist platforms. The prohibition includes working as a “spotter” to ensure the equipment is being operated safely. Low-lift trucks or low-lift platform trucks that are designed for transporting, but not for tiering, of material are permitted. (HO 7) See 29 CFR § 570.58.
Minors under 18 may not operate, help operate, set-up, adjust, repair, oil or clean rolling machines, pressing or punching machines, bending machines, hammering machines or shearing machines. There are some exceptions for machine tools. The regulations also provide a limited exemption for apprentices and student-learners who are at least 16 years of age and enrolled in approved programs. (HO 8) See 29 CFR § 570.59.
Minors under age 18 may not set up, operate or assist to operate, clean, oil, adjust, or repair, power driven meat processing equipment. This includes meat slicers, meat grinders, patty forming machines, meat and bone cutting saws, and food processors when used to process meats. This is true even when the machines are used to process products other than meat, such as vegetables or cheese. Although such minors are also prohibited from cleaning or hand washing the disassembled parts of power-driven meat processing machines, they are permitted to run racks containing the disassembled parts through an automatic dishwasher as long as they do not touch the machine parts. The regulations provide a limited exemption for apprentices and student-learners who are at least 16 years of age and enrolled in approved programs. (HO 10) See 29 CFR § 570.61, and FOH § 33h10.
Minors under 18 may not set up, operate or assist to operate, clean, oil, adjust or repair power driven bakery machines. This includes horizontal and vertical dough mixers, battermixers, bread dividing, rounding or molding machines, dough brakes, dough sheeters, cookie and cracker machines, and cake cutting bandsaws.
A limited exemption is provided for 16- and 17-year-olds who operate (but not set-up, adjust, clean, oil, or repair) certain pizza-dough rollers that have been constructed with safeguards contained in the basic design so as to prevent fingers, hands, or clothing from being caught in the in-running point of the rollers; have gears that are completely enclosed; and have microswitches that disengage the machinery if the backs or sides of the rollers are removed. This exception applies only when all the safeguards detailed in this paragraph are present on the machine, are operational, and have not been overridden.
A limited exemption also applies to the operation, including the setting up, adjusting, repairing, oiling and cleaning, of lightweight, small capacity, portable counter-top power-driven food mixers that are, or are comparable to, models intended for household use. For purposes of this exemption, a lightweight, small capacity mixer is one that is not hardwired into the establishment’s power source, is equipped with a motor that operates at no more than ½ horsepower, and is equipped with a bowl with a capacity of no more than five quarts.
(HO 11) See 29 CFR § 570.62.
Minors under 18 generally may not load, operate or unload power-driven paper products machines such as compactors and balers used in the disposal of waste; arm-type wire stitcher or stapler; circular or ban saw; die cutting presses; and guillotine paper cutters.
Sixteen and 17-year-olds may load certain scrap paper balers and paper box compactors if the equipment meets certain safety standards, there is a posting to this effect on the machines, the on-off switch of the machine has a key-lock or other type of lock-out system, and the equipment is inoperable while it is being loaded. The regulations also provide a limited exemption for apprentices and student-learners who are at least 16 years of age and enrolled in approved programs. (HO 12)
Minors under 18 may not be employed in most occupations involved in the manufacture of clay construction products and of silica refractory products. (HO #13) See 29 CFR § 570.64.
Minors under 18 may not operate, assist to operate, set-up, adjust, repair, oil or clean circular saws, band saws or guillotine shears, except machines equipped with full automatic feed and ejection. These same minors may not operate, assist to operate, set-up, adjust, repair, oil or clean chain saws, reciprocating saws, wood chippers, or abrasive cutting discs. These prohibitions apply regardless of the materials being processed (wood, concrete, metal, foam rubber, cake, paper, etc.). The regulations also provide a limited exemption for apprentices and student-learners who are at least 16 years of age and enrolled in approved programs. (HO 14) See 29 CFR § 570.65.
Minors under 18 may not be employed in occupations in wrecking, demolition or shipbreaking operations. (HO #15) See 29 CFR § 570.66 .
Minors under 18 may not be employed in roofing operations, including work performed on the ground and removal of the old roof, and all work on or about a roof. This prohibition includes any work that would require the youth to be on or near the roof at any time. The regulations provide a limited exemption for apprentices and student-learners who are at least 16 years of age and enrolled in approved programs. (HO 16) See 29 CFR § 570.67, and Roofing Fact Sheet.
Minors under 18 may not be employed in most occupations in trenching and excavation work, including working in a trench more than four feet deep. The regulations provide a limited exemption for apprentices and student-learners who are at least 16 years of age and enrolled in approved programs. (HO 17) See 29 CFR § 570.68.