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  Do you teach teens?

You can help protect teens by:
  • Being informed. If you are responsible for signing work permits, know Federal Child Labor Laws and the State Laws for your area, for example:

    • Federal law limits the number of hours that 14- and 15-year-olds can work in non-agricultural worksites.

      • They are not permitted to work during school hours, or before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. between Labor Day and June 1. During the summer, they can work only between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. (Again, state laws may be more stringent.) When school is in session, teens aren't allowed to work more than 18 hours each week, more than three hours on a school day, or more than eight hours on a weekend or holiday. When school is not in session, they're prohibited from working more than 40 hours each week or eight hours per day.
      • The DOL YouthRules! website provides the following posters on youth work hours:
        • Jobs Youth May Perform, Hours Youth May Work. 4 MB PDF, 3 pages.
        • Federal Youth Employment Laws. 910 KB PDF, 1 page.
        • YouthRules! 340 KB PDF, 1 page.

  • Having in place a centralized work permit system. Use mechanisms (like computerized records) to review previous permits and keep track of working teens. This limits students from getting multiple jobs from different sources that together may exceed the allowable number of hours.

  • Teaching teens their rights and safety information. Consider incorporating information about workers' rights and responsibilities and occupational safety and health training into high school and junior high curriculum. This includes vocational as well as general education. By integrating health and safety training into your existing program, you are providing your students with skills they can use throughout their working life. The training you provide may be the only training they get before they are part of the workforce.
    • NIOSH Youth@Work Talking Safety Curriculum. Provides curriculum in occupational safety and health that can be used in classroom or other group training settings. The curriculum has been customized for each state and Puerto Rico to address state-specific rules and regulations, and includes instructions for teachers and a step-by-step guide for presenting the material.
    • The Work Safe Work Smart curriculum was developed by public health professionals in collaboration with Minnesota teachers to explore occupational health and safety issues with high school students in an effort to reduce injury rates of young workers.
    • Educational materials are available on-line to help teach teens in Additional Links-Educators.

  • Ensuring that school-based work experience programs are within federal and state guidelines. These experiences should also provide information about workers' legal rights and training in hazard recognition and safe work practices.

  • Understanding your role as an educator. You have the important opportunity to teach students the skills, and to provide safety and health training necessary to help them succeed and be safe in the workforce. Educators can help student workers build a safety consciousness from the first job forward.

Accessibility Assistance: Contact the OSHA Directorate of Science, Technology and Medicine at 202-693-2300 for assistance accessing PDF materials.

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Page last updated: 06/11/2008