What Do I Need to Know About Workplace Hazards?

Federal law establishes certain safety standards and restrictions for young workers. If you are not yet 18, you are prohibited from being employed in occupations that have been declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor. There may be some exceptions that apply to your particular situation, and different rules apply to work in agriculture. Be sure to check state regulations for young workers and the OSHA rules, which apply to all employees, regardless of their age.

Below is a list of occupations banned for persons under the age of 18:

  1. Manufacturing or storing of explosives;
  2. Driving a motor vehicle or working as an outside helper on motor vehicles (More information on Hazardous Occupation #2, driving on the job and Distracted Driving);
  3. Coal mining;
  4. Forest fire fighting and forest fire prevention, timber tract, forestry service, and occupations in logging and sawmilling;
  5. Using power-driven woodworking machines (More information on woodworking);
  6. Exposure to radioactive substances and ionizing radiation;
  7. Using power-driven hoisting apparatus;
  8. Using power-driven metal-forming, punching and shearing machines;
  9. Mining, other than coal;
  10. Using power-driven meat-processing machines, slaughtering, meat and poultry packing, processing, or rendering;
  11. Using power-driven bakery machines;
  12. Using balers, compactors, and power-driven paper-products machines (More information on using balers, compactors, and paper-products machines);
  13. Manufacturing brick, tile, and related products;
  14. Using power-driven circular saws, band saws, guillotine shears, chain saws, reciprocating saws, wood chippers, and abrasive cutting discs (More information on power tools);
  15. Working in wrecking, demolition, and ship-breaking operations;
  16. Roofing and work performed on or about a roof (More information on roofing);
  17. Trenching or excavating.

The list of hazardous occupations is different for agricultural work.

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