IN.gov - Skip Navigation

Note: This message is displayed if (1) your browser is not standards-compliant or (2) you have you disabled CSS. Read our Policies for more information.

Amber Alert
Amber Alert - TEST

Indiana Department of Labor

DOL > Child Labor > Prohibited and Hazardous Occupations for Minors Prohibited and Hazardous Occupations for Minors

1. Recent changes to the Prohibited and Hazardous Occupations

Back to Top

Minors are restricted by federal law from working in certain prohibited and hazardous occupations. These restrictions are in place to help maintain the safety and health of minors in the workplace. Effective June 19, 2010, the United States Department of Labor (USDOL) updated the Prohibited and Hazardous Occupations for minors as defined in the Fair Labor Standards Act. The updates reflect changes in technology or job descriptions that have come about since the laws were initially conceived. Many of the updates help to better define the occupations minors may perform. Several of the updates also incorporate new restrictions and, in some cases, include occupations that were not originally contemplated by the Act.

Indiana law charges the Indiana Bureau of Child Labor with enforcing the prohibited and hazardous occupations as identified by the Secretary of the United States Department of Labor. In this instance, the Bureau of Child Labor often has concurrent jurisdiction with the United States Department of Labor. A quick side-by-side comparison of state and federal child labor laws may be found online at http://www.in.gov/dol/2798.htm .

Nearly all of the Prohibited Occupations for 14 and 15 year olds were updated and better defined.  Several new Prohibited Occupations were also added. The Prohibited Occupations now include advertising by holding signs, waving banners or wearing costumes and youth peddling. Several new occupations are also designated as permissible for minors including lifeguarding and clearer definitions of intellectual and artistic work.

The Hazardous Occupations for 16 and 17 year olds have also been changed. Specifically, many occupations related to forest firefighting and fire prevention are now designated as Hazardous, and the definitions of what types of machinery a 16 or 17 year old can operate are more clearly defined.

2. Rules for 14 and 15 year olds

Back to Top

a. Prohibited Occupations

The following occupations are defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act as prohibited for 14 and 15 year olds:

Back to Top
Manufacturing and working in workrooms where goods are manufactured
Manufacturing or other occupations requiring the performance of any duties in work rooms or work places where goods are manufactured are strictly prohibited for 14 and 15 year olds. Office and clerical work, including the use of office machines, vacuums and floor waxers, may be performed in an office separate from the work room or work place.
Back to Top
Mining and working in workrooms where goods are mined
Mining or other occupations requiring the performance of any duties in work rooms or work places where goods are mined are strictly prohibited for 14 and 15 year olds. Office and clerical work, including the use of office machines, vacuums and floor waxers, may be performed in an office separate from the work room or work place.
Back to Top
Processing and working in workrooms where goods are processed
Processing or other occupations requiring the performance of any duties in work rooms or work places where goods are processed are strictly prohibited for 14 and 15 year olds. Office and clerical work, including the use of office machines, vacuums and floor waxers, may be performed in an office separate from the work room or work place.
Back to Top
Operating, tending setting up, adjusting, cleaning, oiling or repairing power-driven machinery
It is expressly prohibited for a 14 or 15 year old to operate, adjust, tend, set up, clean oil or repair any power driven machinery including, but not limited to lawn mowers, golf carts, all-terrain vehicles, trimmers, cutters, weed-eaters, edgers, hoisting apparatus, food slicers, food grinders, food choppers, food processors, food cutters, and food mixers. 14 and 15 year olds may operate office equipment, vacuums and floor waxers.
Back to Top
Cooking and Baking
14 and 15 year olds may not perform any sort of baking. They may not cook over an open flame, but may use grills or stoves with no open flame. They may not use fryers except fryers that automatically raise and lower the baskets into the hot oil or grease. 14 and 15 year olds may not cook with equipment such as rotisseries, broilers, pressurized equipment or cooking devices that operate at extremely high temperatures such as "Neico broilers."
Back to Top
Working in freezers or meat coolers
Work inside freezers or meat coolers, such as restocking, labelling or reorganizing, is prohibited for 14 and 15 year olds. A 14 or 15 year old may, however, occasionally enter a freezer momentarily to retrieve items for restocking or food preparation.
Back to Top
Preparation of meats for sale
It is unlawful for a 14 or 15 year old to perform any duties related to the preparation of meats for sale except wrapping, sealing, labeling, weighing, pricing and stocking when performed in areas physically separate from a freezer or meat cooler.
Back to Top
Working in or about boiler or engine rooms
14 and 15 year olds may not perform any work in or about boiler or engine rooms or in connection with the maintenance or repair of the establishment, machines, or equipment.
Back to Top
Maintaining of a building, establishment machines or equipment
14 and 15 year olds may not perform any work in connection with the maintenance or repair of the establishment, machines or equipment.
Back to Top
Operating a motor vehicle
Per state and federal law, it is unlawful for a 14 or 15 year old to operate a motor vehicle.
Back to Top
Working as a vehicle helper
It is unlawful for a 14 or 15 year old to ride on the outside of a motor vehicle or ride outside of a motor vehicle ride inside a motor vehicle cabin if assisting with transportation of goods or property. It is also prohibited for a 14 or 15 year old to to ride in or load goods or products into a motor vehicle if participating in youth peddling.
Back to Top
Loading a motor vehicle
14 and 15 year olds may not load or unload goods on or off of trucks, railcars or conveyors except the loading of light (non-power-driven) hand tools, personal protective equipment and personal items such as back packs, lunch boxes, or coats.

Light hand tools would include, but are not limited to:

  • rakes
  • hand-held clippers
  • shovels
  • brooms

The following are not considered light hand tools:

  • trash
  • sales kits
  • promotion items or items for sale
  • lawn mowers
  • other power driven lawn maintenance equipment
  • safety equipment such as barriers, cones or signage

Back to Top
Operating, tending, setting up, adjusting, cleaning, oiling, repairing power driven machinery
It is expressly prohibited for a 14 or 15 year old to operate, adjust, tend, set up, clean oil or repair any power driven machinery including, but not limited to lawn mowers, golf carts, all-terrain vehicles, trimmers, cutters, weed-eaters, edgers, hoisting apparatus, food slicers, food grinders, food choppers, food processors, food cutters, and food mixers. 14 and 15 year olds may operate office equipment, vacuums and floor waxers.
Back to Top
Catching or cooping poultry for transport to sale or to market
14 and 15 year olds may not catch or coop poultry for transport or for market.
Back to Top
Transportation of people or goods
The transportation of people or property by rail, highway, air, water, pipeline or other means is strictly prohibited for a 14 or 15 year old.
Back to Top
Warehousing and storage
Warehousing and storage is strictly prohibited for a 14 or 15 year old.
Back to Top
Communications
Communications and public utility work is strictly prohibited for a 14 or 15 year old.
Back to Top
Public messenger
Performing public messenger services is prohibited for 14 and 15 year olds.
Back to Top
Youth peddling
Youth peddling (sales at locations other than the employer's establishment) is strictly prohibited for 14 and 15 year olds. This covers both the actual making of a sale and the attempt to sell, but also the preparatory and concluding tasks associated with peddling. Minors may not load peddling-related items into or onto a motor vehicle. A 14 or 15 year old who, as a volunteer and without compensation, sells goods or services on behalf of a charitable organization is exempt from the youth peddling restrictions.
Back to Top
Advertising by holding signs, waving banners or wearing costumes
Holding, wearing or waving of signs, merchandise, costumes, sandwich boards, or placards except when performed inside of or directly in front of the employer's establishment is prohibited for 14 and 15 year olds. The youth may, however, conduct sales in employer exterior facilities such as garden centers, sidewalk sales and parking lot sales.
Back to Top
Construction/demolition/repair
The areas of construction and demolition are prohibited for 14 and 15 year olds unless performing office work that does not involve the performance of any duties on trains, motor vehicles, aircraft, vessels or other media of transportation or on the actual construction site.
Back to Top
Using ladders, scaffolds or other similar equipment
Any duties that require the use of a ladder, scaffold or a substitute for such equipment is prohibited for 14 and 15 year olds.
Back to Top
Outside window washing
Outside Window washing that involves working from window sills, ladders, scaffolds or other similar equipment is expressly prohibited for 14 and 15 year olds.

b. Permissible Non-Agricultural Occupations

The following occupations are defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act as permissible for 14 and 15 year olds:

Back to Top
Office and clerical work
14 and 15 year olds may operate office equipment, vacuums and floor waxers. It is expressly prohibited for a 14 or 15 year old to operate, adjust, tend, set up, clean oil or repair any power driven machinery including, but not limited to lawn mowers, golf carts, all-terrain vehicles, trimmers, cutters, weed-eaters, edgers, hoisting apparatus, food slicers, food grinders, food choppers, food processors, food cutters, and food mixers.
Back to Top
Cooking with no open flame and/or using automatic deep fryers
It is acceptable for a 14 or 15 year old to cook using grills with no open flame. They may use fryers that automatically raise and lower the baskets into the hot oil or grease. They may use a non-powered kitchen knife. 14 and 15 year olds may not perform any sort of baking. They may not cook over an open flame, or use fryers where the basket is lowered into hot oil or grease by hand or use rotisseries, broilers, pressurized equipment or cooking devices that operate at extremely high temperatures such as "Neico broilers."
Back to Top
Kitchen work
Some kitchen work is allowed for 14 and 15 year olds. These duties include, but are not limited to, the operation of:
  • dishwashers
  • toasters
  • dumbwaiters
  • popcorn poppers
  • milk shake blenders
  • coffee grinders
  • automatic coffee machines
  • warmers
  • steam tables
  • heat lamps
  • microwave ovens that only warm prepared food and do not have the capacity to warm above 140 degrees

14 and 15 year olds may clean most kitchen equipment except:

  • food slicers
  • food grinders
  • food choppers
  • food processors
  • food cutters
  • food mixers

14 and 15 year olds may remove, filter or move receptacles containing grease or oil if the liquid, equipment and surfaces do not exceed a temperature of 100 degrees.

Cleaning vegetables and fruits, wrapping, sealing, labeling, weighing, pricing and stocking when performed in areas physically separate from a freezer or meat cooler is allowed for a 14 or 15 year old.

14 and 15 year olds may occasionally enter freezers momentarily to retrieve items related to restocking or food preparation.

Back to Top
Cashiering
Cashiering is an acceptable occupation for a 14 or 15 year old.
Back to Top
Selling
Selling is an acceptable occupation for a 14 or 15 year old. However, a 14 or 15 year old may not participate in advertising by holding signs, waving banners or wearing costumes or perform any duties related to youth peddling.
Back to Top
Modeling
Modeling is an acceptable occupation for a 14 or 15 year old.
Back to Top
Working in advertising departments
14 and 15 year olds may working in advertising departments as long as they do not participate in advertising by holding signs, waving banners or wearing costumes or perform any duties related to youth peddling.
Back to Top
Window trimming
Window trimming is an acceptable occupation for a 14 or 15 year old. 14 and 15 year olds may not, however, use any ladders, scaffolds or their substitutes to perform these duties.
Back to Top
Comparative shopping
14 and 15 year olds may work as comparative shoppers.
Back to Top
Price marking by hand or machine
It is acceptable for a 14 or 15 year old to price mark or tag goods or shelves. The minor may hand write or use a machine in performance of these duties. 14 and 15 year olds may not, however, use any ladders, scaffolds or their substitutes to perform these duties.
Back to Top
Assembling orders
14 and 15 year olds may assemble goods to be delivered or picked up, but they may not participate in the transportation of these orders by these orders via air, rail, highway, pipeline or other means.
Back to Top
Packing and shelving
Packing and shelving is an acceptable occupation for 14 and 15 year olds.
Back to Top
Bagging and carrying out customers' orders
14 and 15 year olds may bag goods and help customers to their vehicles with these orders.
Back to Top
Errand and delivery work
If a 14 or 15 year old will be doing so on foot, bicycle or a form of public transportation, he/she may perform errands and delivery work. The 14 or 15 year old may not, however, participate in youth peddling.
Back to Top
Clean up work
14 and 15 year olds may perform clean-up work including the use of vacuums and floor waxers. They may not, however, operate, adjust, tend, set up, clean oil or repair any power driven machinery including, but not limited to lawn mowers, golf carts, all-terrain vehicles, trimmers, cutters, weed-eaters, edgers, hoisting apparatus, food slicers, food grinders, food choppers, food processors, food cutters, and food mixers.
Back to Top
Grounds maintenance
It is acceptable for a 14 or 15 year old to perform grounds maintenance, but he/she may not operate, adjust, tend, set up, clean oil or repair any power driven machinery including, but not limited to lawn mowers, golf carts, all-terrain vehicles, trimmers, cutters, weed-eaters, edgers or hoisting apparatus.
Back to Top
Intellectual or artistic work
Any 14 or 15 year old may work in the field of intellectual or artistic work. Some of the duties commonly included in this field are:
  • computer programming
  • writing software
  • teaching or performing as a tutor
  • serving as a peer counselor or teacher's assistant
  • singing
  • playing a musical instrument
  • drawing

Any exempted artistic endeavor must comply with all other prohibited occupation definitions. Artistically creative work is limited to work in a recognized field of artistic or creative endeavor.

Back to Top
Lifeguarding (15 years old only)
15 year olds, but not 14 year olds, may work in the field of lifeguarding. All 15 year olds working as lifeguards must be trained and certified in water safety by the Red Cross or similar certifying organization.

Lifeguard duties may include:

  • rescuing swimmers
  • monitoring poolside activities
  • teaching of water safety
  • providing assistance to patrons
  • may help maintain order and cleanliness of pool and pool areas
  • give swimming instructions if certified as a swimming instructor by the red cross or similar organization
  • conduct or officiate swimming meets
  • administer first aid
  • checking in or out personal items
  • using a ladder to ascend or descend the lifeguard chair
  • using hand tools to clean the pool and pool area
  • testing the pH levels and temperatures of the pool using all of the tools and/or chemicals of the testing process
  • working at "splashdown pools" located at the bottom of elevated water slides

15 year olds working as lifeguards may not:

  • enter or work in a mechanical room, chemical storage room or area where filtration and chlorinating systems are housed
  • operate or tend power-driven elevated water slides
  • work in the elevated areas of waterslides

Minors under 16 may not be employed as dispatchers or attendants at the top of elevated water slides performing duties such as:

  • maintaining order
  • directing patrons
  • assisting patrons onto the ride or doing safety check

The acceptable duties 15 year olds lifeguards do not include working at natural environment swimming facilities such as rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, quarries, reservoirs, wharfs, piers, canals or oceanside beaches.

Back to Top
Work with cars and trucks (service station)
In the case of gas stations and motor vehicle maintenance occupations, 14 and 15 year olds may:
  • dispense gasoline and oil
  • provide courtesy service
  • clean, wash and wax cars by hand

14 and 15 year olds working in gas stations and motor vehicle maintenance occupations may not use pits, racks or lift apparatus and may not inflate tires on a rim with a removable retaining ring.

c. Exemptions from Prohibited Occupations

If a youth is exempt by statute or judicial order from attending school beyond 8th grade, the minor may work inside and outside of places of business where machinery is used to process wood products if the minor's on-the-job activities are be directed, monitored, overseen, and controlled by a parent, legal guardian, grandparent, sibling, uncle, aunt or member of the same religious sect who is at least 18 years of age. Such supervision must be close, direct, constant and uninterrupted. The youth cannot operate or assist in the operation of power-driven woodworking machines and must be far enough away from machines or behind a barrier to be protected from wood particles or debris. The youth must use personal protective equipment to prevent excessive exposure to noise or saw dust. All particle/debris barriers and personal protective equipment must meet the applicable OSHA standards.

"Power-driven woodworking machines" means all fixed or portable machines or tools driven by power and used or designed for cutting, shaping, forming, surfacing, nailing, stapling, wire stitching, fastening or otherwise assembling, pressing or printing wood, veneer, trees, logs or lumber.

3. Rules for 16 and 17 year olds

Back to Top

a. Hazardous Occupations

The following occupations are defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act as hazardous for 16 and 17 year olds:
  1. Occupations in or about plants or establishments manufacturing or storing explosives or articles containing explosive components
  2. Occupations of motor-vehicle driver and outside helper
  3. Coal-mine occupations
  4. Forest fire fighting and forest fire prevention occupations, timber tract occupations, forestry service occupations, logging occupations, and occupations in the operation of any sawmill, lath mill, shingle mill, or cooperage stock mill
  5. Occupations involved in the operation of power-driven woodworking machines
  6. Exposure to radioactive substances and to ionizing radiations
  7. Occupations involved in the operation of power-driven hoisting apparatus
  8. Occupations involved in the operations of power-driven metal forming, punching, and shearing machines
  9. Occupations in connection with mining, other than coal
  10. Occupations in the operation of power-driven meat-processing machines and occupations involving slaughtering, meat and poultry packing, processing, or rendering
  11. Occupations involved in the operation of bakery machines
  12. Occupations involved in the operation of balers, compactors, and paperproducts machines
  13. Occupations involved in the manufacture of brick, tile, and kindred products
  14. Occupations involving the operation of circular saws, band saws, guillotine shears, chain saws, reciprocating saws, wood chippers, and abrasive cutting discs
  15. Occupations involved in wrecking, demolition, and shipbreaking operations
  16. Occupations in roofing operations and on or about a roof
  17. Occupations in excavation operations

Back to Top
Occupations in or about plants or establishments manufacturing or storing explosives or articles containing explosive components
Minors may not work in or about any plant or establishment (other than retail establishments) that manufactures or stores explosives or articles containing explosive components except where the work is performed in a "non-explosives area."

The following occupations in connection with the manufacturing or storing of small-arms ammunition (not exceeding .60 caliber in size), shotgun shells, or blasting caps are considered hazardous for minors:

  • manufacturing, mixing, transporting, or handling explosive compounds
  • performance of any duties in the explosives area in which explosive compounds or primers are manufactured, primed or mixed
  • manufacturing, transporting, or handling of primers and all other occupations requiring the performance of any duties in the same building in which primers are manufactured
  • priming cartridges
  • plate loading cartridges and operating automatic loading machines
  • loading, inspecting, packing, shipping and storing blasting caps.

A "non-explosives area" is defined as an area where none of the work performed involves the handling or use of explosives. The area must be separated by a fence or is otherwise located as to be a definite designated non-explosives area. The area must also be separated from the explosives by a distance not less than that prescribed in the American Table of Distances for the protection of inhabited buildings. Satisfactory controls must be in place to ensure minors do not enter any area where explosives are manufactured or stored.

The terms "explosives" and "articles containing explosive components" mean and include ammunition, black powder, blasting caps, fireworks, high explosives, primers, smokeless powder, and explosives and explosive materials as defined in federal law 18 U.S.C. 841(c)-(f) and the implementing regulations at 27 CFR part 555. The terms include any chemical compound, mixture, or device, the primary or common purpose of which is to function by explosion, as well as all goods identified in the most recent list of explosive materials published by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Department of Justice.

Back to Top
Occupations of motor-vehicle driver and outside helper
While working for an employer, 16 year olds are restricted from operating a motor vehicle on any public road, highway, in or about any mine (including open pit mine or quarry), place where logging or sawmill operations are in progress, or in any area of excavation. Essentially, a 16 year old may not drive as part of his or her job unless the wheels of the vehicle being driven will never touch a public street.

17 year olds may perform incidental and occasional driving as part of their job duties, but only if all of the following criteria are met:

  • automobile or truck does not exceed 6,000 pounds gross vehicle weight
  • seatbelts or other similar restraining devices are in place for the driver and all passengers and the employee is instructed that these restraining devices must be used
  • may only drive during daylight hours
  • no more than two trips a day away from the primary place of employment for delivering goods or passengers
  • cannot travel outside a 30 mile radius of the primary place of employment
  • driving is only occasional and incidental to the 17 year old’s employment

The 17 year olds driving duties may not involve:

  • the towing of vehicles
  • route deliveries or route sales
  • transportation for hire of property, goods, or passengers
  • urgent, time-sensitive deliveries
  • transporting at any one time of more than three passengers, including the employees of the employer

Some examples of Prohibited trips would include, but are not limited to, the delivery of pizzas and prepared foods to the customer, the delivery of materials under a deadline (such as deposits to a bank at closing) and the shuttling of passengers to and from transportation depots to meet transport schedules.

The term “motor vehicle” is defined as any automobile, truck, truck-tractor, trailer, semitrailer, motorcycle, or similar vehicle propelled or drawn by mechanical power and designed for use as a means of transportation.

Occasional and incidental” means no more than one-third of an employee's worktime in any workday and no more than 20 percent of an employee's worktime in any workweek.

An “outside vehicle helper” is someone whose work includes riding on a motor vehicle outside the cab for the purpose of assisting in transporting or delivering goods.

Back to Top
Coal-mine occupations
All types of work performed in any underground working, open-pit, or surface part of any coal-mining plant, that contribute to the extraction, grading, cleaning, or other handling of coal are considered hazardous for minors.

16 and 17 year olds may, however, participate in slate or other refuse picking at a picking table or picking chute in a tipple or breaker and 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.

Back to Top
Forest fire fighting and forest fire prevention occupations, timber tract occupations, forestry service occupations, logging occupations, and occupations in the operation of any sawmill, lath mill, shingle mill, or cooperage stock mill
All occupations in forest fire fighting and forest fire prevention, timber tracts, forestry services, logging, and the operation of any sawmill, lath mill, shingle mill, or cooperage stock mill are particularly hazardous for the employment of minors between 16 and 18 years of age, except the following:
  • work in offices, repair shops or maintenance shops
  • work in the construction, operation, repair, or maintenance of living and administrative quarters, including logging camps and fire fighting base camps
  • work in the repair or maintenance of roads, railroads or flumes and work in construction and maintenance of telephone lines, but only if the minors are not engaged in the operation of power-driven machinery, the handling or use of explosives, the felling or bucking of timber, the collecting or transporting of logs, or work on trestles.

The following tasks in forest fire prevention may be performed if not in conjunction with or in support of efforts to extinguish a forest fire:

  • clearing fire trails or roads
  • construction, maintenance or patrolling of fire lines
  • piling and burning of slash
  • maintaining of firefighting equipment
  • acting as a fire lookout or fire patrolman
  • work in forest marketing and economics when performed away from the forest
  • work in the feeding or care of animals
  • peeling of fence posts, pulpwood, chemical wood, excelsior wood, cordwood, or similar products, when not done in conjunction with and at the same time and place as other logging occupations declared hazardous by this section

When not entering a sawmill building or working with a portable sawmill, 16 and 17 year olds may:

  • straighten, mark or tally lumber on the dry chain or dry drop sorter
  • pull lumber from the dry chain
  • clean up the lumberyard
  • pile, handle or ship cooperage stock in yards or storage sheds other than operating or assisting with power-driven equipment
  • perform clerical work in yards or shipping sheds
  • clean-up work outside shake and shingle mills when the mill is not in operation
  • split and pack shakes manually from precut and split blocks with a froe and mallet when not inside the mill building or cover
  • manually load of bundles of shingles or shakes into trucks or railcars (must have doctor's certification stating that the minor is physically capable of performing these duties)

If a youth is exempt by statute or judicial order from attending school beyond 8th grade, the minor may work inside and outside of places of business where machinery is used to process wood products if the minor's on-the-job activities are be directed, monitored, overseen, and controlled by a parent, legal guardian, grandparent, sibling, uncle, aunt or member of the same religious sect who is at least 18 years of age. Such supervision must be close, direct, constant and uninterrupted. The youth cannot operate or assist in the operation of power-driven woodworking machines and must be far enough away from machines or behind a barrier to be protected from wood particles or debris. The youth must use personal protective equipment to prevent excessive exposure to noise or saw dust. All particle/debris barriers and personal protective equipment must meet the applicable OSHA standards.

"Power-driven woodworking machines" means all fixed or portable machines or tools driven by power and used or designed for cutting, shaping, forming, surfacing, nailing, stapling, wire stitching, fastening or otherwise assembling, pressing or printing wood, veneer, trees, logs or lumber.

Back to Top
Occupations involved in the operation of power-driven woodworking machines
16 and 17 year olds may not operate use, adjust, maintain, clean, oil, set-up, supervise, control, feed material or assist to feed material into powered woodworking or saw milling tools except for the following tasks:
  • removal of material or refuse from a circular saw or guillotine-action veneer clipper where the material has been conveyed away from the point of operation by some mechanical means
  • carrying, moving or transporting materials from one machine to another or from one part of a plant to another
  • piling, stacking, or arranging materials for feeding into a machine by another person
  • sorting, tying, bundling or loading of materials

Power-driven woodworking machines shall mean all fixed or portable machines or tools driven by power and used or designed for cutting, shaping, forming, surfacing, nailing, stapling, wire stitching, fastening or otherwise assembling, pressing or printing wood, veneer, trees, logs or lumber.

Exemptions:
16 and 17 year olds working as apprentices or student learners in accordance with the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act may be exempt from the restrictions on the operation of power-driven woodworking machines.

Back to Top
Exposure to radioactive substances and to ionizing radiations
16 and 17 year olds may not perform any work in any workroom in which radium is stored or self-luminous compound is made, processed, or packaged, stored, used, or worked upon. They also may olds may not work in areas where incandescent mantles made from fabric and solutions containing thorium salts are manufactured, processed or packaged.

Minors may not work in areas where other radioactive substances are present in the air in average concentrations exceeding 10 percent of the maximum permissible concentrations in the air recommended for occupational exposure by the National Committee on Radiation Protection.

Back to Top
Occupations involved in the operation of power-driven hoisting apparatus
16 and 17 year olds may not operate, tend, ride upon, work from, repair, service, or disassemble:
  • elevators
  • cranes
  • derricks
  • hoists
  • high-lift trucks
  • man-lifts
  • freight elevators

Tending such equipment includes assisting in the hoisting tasks being performed by the equipment.

Exceptions:
16 and 17 year olds may operate or ride inside an unattended automatic operation passenger elevator or ride inside a freight elevator operated by an assigned operator.

A 16 or 17 year old may operate a passenger or freight elevator if:

  • it is equipped with a push button or lever/switch
  • all interior surfaces, the car door, and the hoistway doors are constructed of solid surfaces without any opening through which a part of the body may extend
  • all hoistway openings at floor level have doors which are interlocked with the car door so as to prevent the car from starting until all such doors are closed and locked
  • the elevator (other than hydraulic elevators) is equipped with a device which will stop and hold the car in case of overspeed or if the cable slackens or breaks
  • the elevator is equipped with upper and lower travel limit devices which will normally bring the car to rest at either terminal and a final limit switch which will prevent the movement in either direction and will open in case of excessive over travel by the car

Back to Top
Occupations involved in the operations of power-driven metal forming, punching, and shearing machines
A minor may not operate or help to operate any of the following power-driven metal forming, punching, and shearing machines:
  • rolling machines, such as beading, straightening, corrugating, flanging, or bending rolls; and hot or cold rolling mills
  • pressing or punching machines, such as punch presses except those provided with full automatic feed and ejection and with a fixed barrier guard to prevent the hands or fingers of the operator from entering the area between the dies; power presses; and plate punches
  • bending machines, such as apron brakes and press brakes
  • hammering machines, such as drop hammers and power hammers
  • All shearing machines, such as guillotine or squaring shears; alligator shears; and rotary shears.

16 and 17 year olds may not set up, adjust, repair, oil, or clean any of the equipment listed above.

Exemptions:
Minors working as apprentices or student learners in accordance with the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act may be exempt from the restrictions on power-driven metal forming, punching, and shearing machines.

Back to Top
Occupations in connection with mining, other than coal
16 and 17 year olds may not work in all occupations in conjunction with mining with the following exceptions:
  • working in offices
  • working in the warehouse or supply house
  • working in the change house
  • working in the laboratory
  • working in repair or maintenance shops not located underground
  • operating and maintaining the living quarters
  • surveying, repairing and maintaining roads, and general clean-up about the mine property
  • working on track crews in the building and maintaining of sections of railroad track located in those areas of open-cut metal mines where mining and haulage activities are not being conducted at the time and place that such building and maintenance work is being done
  • working in or about surface placer mining operations other than placer dredging operations and hydraulic placer mining operations

The following duties in metal mills, other than working in mercury-recovery mills or mills using the cyanide process), are acceptable for 16 and 17 year olds:

  • work involving the operation of jigs, sludge tables, flotation cells, or drier-filters;
  • work of hand-sorting at picking table or picking belt;
  • General clean-up work:

Back to Top
Occupations in the operation of power-driven meat-processing machines and occupations involving slaughtering, meat and poultry packing, processing, or rendering
In the field of meat and poultry slaughtering, packing, processing, or rendering, all occupations on the killing floor, in curing cellars, and in hide cellars are forbidden for anyone under 18, except when entering the workroom infrequently or for short periods of time in conjunction with the duties of messengers, runners, handtruckers or other similar occupations.

Minor may also not set-up, adjust, repair, or oil such machines or the clean, operate or feed the following power-driven machines or their individual parts and attachments:

  • meat patty forming machines
  • meat and bone cutting saws
  • poultry scissors or shears
  • meat slicers
  • knives (except bacon slicing machines)
  • headsplitters
  • guillotine cutters
  • snoutpullers
  • jawpullers
  • skinning machines
  • horizontal rotary washing machines
  • casing-cleaning machines such as crushing, stripping, and finishing machines
  • grinding, mixing, chopping, and hashing machines (except small capacity, portable counter-top powerdriven food mixers that are, or are comparable to, models intended for household use)
  • presses (except belly-rolling machines)

The following duties are forbidden for minors:

  • boning
  • pushing or dropping of any suspended carcass, half carcass, or quarter carcass
  • working in the recovery of lard and oils (except packaging and shipping of such products and the operation of lard-roll machines)
  • the tankage or rendering of dead animals, animal offal, animal fats, scrap meats, blood, and bones into stock feeds, tallow, inedible greases, fertilizer ingredients, and similar products.
  • handlifting or handcarrying any carcass, half carcass of beef, pork, horse, deer, or buffalo
  • handlifting or handcarrying any quarter carcass of beef, horse, or buffalo

Exemptions:
16 and 17 year olds may kill and process rabbits or small game in areas physically separated from the killing floor. Also, minors working as apprentices or student learners in accordance with the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act may be exempt from the meat and poultry slaughtering, packing, processing, or rendering restrictions.

Back to Top
Occupations involved in the operation of bakery machines
16 and 17 year olds may not operate, assist in operating, or set up, adjust, repair, oil, or clean any:
  • horizontal or vertical dough mixer
  • batter mixer
  • bread dividing, rounding, or molding machine
  • dough brake
  • dough sheeter
  • combination bread slicing and wrapping machine
  • cake cutting band saw

Setting up or adjusting a cookie or cracker machine is also prohibited for anyone under 18 years of age.

Exceptions:
16 and 17 year olds may operate, set up, adjust, repair, oil and clean lightweight, small capacity, portable counter-top power-driven food mixers that are, or are comparable to, models intended for household use. These mixers must not be hard-wired into the establishment's power be equipped a motor that operates at no more than 1/2 horsepower and a bowl with a capacity of no more than five quarts.

16 and 17 year olds may operate but not set up, clean, adjust, repair or oil pizza dough rollers that have been constructed with functional 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. These dough rollers must have gears that are completely enclosed and have microswitches that disengage the machinery if the backs or sides of the rollers are removed.

Back to Top
Occupations involved in the operation of balers, compactors, and paperproducts machines
Employees under 18 years of age may not operate, assist in operating, set up, adjust, repair, oil or clean the following hand-fed machines related to the operation of balers, compactors and paper product machines:
  • arm-type wire stitcher or stapler
  • circular or band saw
  • corner cutter or mitering machine
  • corrugating and single-or-double facing machine
  • envelope die-cutting press
  • guillotine paper cutter or shear horizontal bar scorer
  • laminating or combining machine
  • sheeting machine
  • scrap paper baler
  • paper box compactor
  • vertical slotter
  • platen die-cutting press
  • platen printing press
  • punch press

16 and 17 year olds may not operate or assist in operating any baler or compactor that is designed or used to process materials other than paper.

Exemptions:
16 or 17 year olds working as apprentices or student learners as defined under the Fair Labor Standards Act may be exempt from the restrictions related to the operation of balers, compactors and paper product machines.

16 and 17 year olds may load, but not operate or unload, scrap paper balers and paper box compactors that meet all applicable ANSI standards as “safe.” The employer must also post a notice on the scrap paper baler or paper box compactor (in a prominent position and easily visible to any person loading, operating, or unloading the machine) that includes and conveys all of the following information:

  1. That the scrap paper baler or compactor meets the industry safety standard applicable to the machine. The notice shall completely identify the appropriate ANSI standard.
  2. That 16- and 17-year-old employees may only load the scrap paper baler or paper box compactor.
  3. That no employee under the age of 18 may operate or unload the scrap paper baler or paper box compactor.

In order for employers to take advantage of the limited exception discussed in this section, the equipment must meet one of the following ANSI standards:

For Balers:

  • ANSI Standard Z245.5–1990
  • ANSI Standard Z245.5–1997
  • ANSI Standard Z245.5–2004
  • ANSI Standard Z245.5–2008

For Compactors:

  • ANSI Standard Z245.2–1992
  • ANSI Standard Z245.2–1997
  • ANSI Standard Z245.2–2004
  • ANSI Standard Z245.2–2008

Back to Top
Occupations involved in the manufacture of brick, tile, and kindred products
All work in or about establishments in which clay construction products are manufactured is considered hazardous for 16 and 17 year olds except:
  • work in storage and shipping
  • work in offices, laboratories, and storerooms
  • work in the drying departments of plants manufacturing sewer pipe

With the exception of office work, 16 and 17 year olds may not work in or about establishments where silica brick or other silica refractories are manufactured.

Back to Top
Occupations involving the operation of circular saws, band saws, guillotine shears, chain saws, reciprocating saws, wood chippers, and abrasive cutting discs
Operating or helping to operate fixed or portable power-driven circular saws, band saws and guillotine shears is prohibited for 16 and 17 year olds unless the machine is equipped with full automatic feed and ejection.

16 and 17 year olds may not operate or help to operate fixed or portable power-driven chain saws, reciprocating saws, wood chippers or abrasive cutting discs.

Setting up, adjusting, repairing, oiling or cleaning circular saws, band saws, guillotine shears, chain saws, reciprocating saws, wood chippers or abrasive cutting discs are also forbidden for 16 and 17 year olds.

Exemptions:
16 or 17 year olds working as apprentices or student learners as defined under the Fair Labor Standards Act may be exempt from the restrictions related to the operation of circular saws, band saws, guillotine shears, chain saws, reciprocating saws, wood chippers, and abrasive cutting discs.

Back to Top
Occupations involved in wrecking, demolition, and shipbreaking operations
16 and 17 year olds may not participate in any occupations related to wrecking, demolition, and shipbreaking operations. This restriction includes clean up and recycling of debris while still on the job site.
Back to Top
Occupations in roofing operations and on or about a roof
Minors may not work on the roof of any building for any reason. They also may not perform work on the ground related to roofing operations such as roofing laborer, roofing helper, materials handler and tending a tar heater.

Exemptions:
16 and 17 year olds working as apprentices or student learners in accordance with the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act may be exempt from the restrictions regarding working on the roof.

Back to Top
Occupations in excavation operations
16 and 17 year olds may not excavate, work in, or backfill (refill) trenches unless they are manually excavating or manually backfilling trenches that do not exceed four feet in depth at any point or working in trenches that do not exceed four feet in depth at any point. They may not excavate for buildings or other structures or work in such excavations, unless they are manually excavating to a depth not exceeding four feet below any ground surface adjoining the excavation, working in an excavation not exceeding such depth or working in an excavation where the side walls are shored or sloped to the angle of repose.

No 16 or 17 year old may work in a tunnel or shaft prior to the completion of all driving, sinking and shoring operations.

Exemptions:
16 and 17 year olds working as apprentices or student learners in accordance with the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act may be exempt from the restrictions on excavating operations.

b. Exemptions from Hazardous Occupations

The following occupations allow for apprentices or student learners who are 16 or 17 to perform duties or operate machinery otherwise deemed hazardous:

The exemptions for apprentices will only apply if the apprentice is employed in a craft recognized as an apprenticeable trade and the work of the apprentice in the occupations declared particularly hazardous is incidental to his training. Such work must be intermittent and for short periods of time and is under the direct and close supervision of a journeyman. The apprentice must be registered by the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training of the United States Department of Labor, by a State apprenticeship agency recognized by the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training. The apprentice may also employed under a written apprenticeship agreement and conditions which are found by the Secretary of Labor to conform substantially with such Federal or State standards.

To be considered for the student learner exemptions, a 16 or 17 year old must enrolled in a course of study and training in a cooperative vocational training program under a recognized State or local educational authority or in a course of study in a substantially similar program conducted by a private school. Such work must be intermittent and for short periods of time and is under the direct and close supervision of a qualified and experienced person. Safety instructions must be given by the school and correlated by the employer with on-the-job training. A schedule of organized and progressive work processes to be performed on the job must have been prepared.

Each written agreement must contain the name of student-learner, and must be signed by the employer and the school coordinator or principal. Copies of each agreement must be kept on file by both the school and the employer. This exemption for the employment of student learners may be revoked in any individual situation where it is found that reasonable precautions have not been observed for the safety of the student. A high school graduate may be employed in an occupation in which he has completed training as provided in this paragraph as a student-learner, even though he or she is not yet 18 years of age.

4. Rules for minors under 16 years of age in agriculture

Back to Top

a. Hazardous Occupations in Agriculture

Minors under the age of 16 may not participate in the following Hazardous occupations in the field of agriculture:
  • operating or connecting/disconnecting implements from a tractor of over 20 PTO horsepower
  • felling, bucking, skidding, loading, or unloading timber with butt diameter of more than 6 inches
  • working from a ladder or scaffold (painting, repairing, or building structures, pruning trees, picking fruit, etc.) at a height of over 20 feet
  • driving a bus, truck, or automobile when transporting passengers, or riding on a tractor as a passenger or helper
  • handling or applying (including cleaning or decontaminating equipment, disposal or return of empty containers, or serving as a flagman for aircraft applying) agricultural chemicals classified As Category I toxins
  • handling or using a blasting agent, including but not limited to, dynamite, black powder, sensitized ammonium nitrate, blasting caps, and primer cord
  • transporting, transferring, or applying anhydrous ammonia

No minor under the age of 16 may operate, assist in operating, start, stop, adjust, feed or any other activity involving physical contact associated with the operation any of the following machines:

  • trencher or earthmoving equipment
  • fork lift
  • potato combine
  • power-driven circular, band, or chain saw

Minors under the age of 16 may not Work on a farm in a yard, pen, or stall occupied by bull, boar, stud horse maintained for breeding purposes, sow with suckling pigs, or cow with newborn calf with the umbilical cord present.

No one under the age of 16 may work inside any of the following structures:

  • fruit, forage, or grain storage designed to retain an oxygen deficient or toxic atmosphere
  • upright silo within 2 weeks after silage has been added or when a top unloading device is in operating position
  • manure pit
  • horizontal silo while operating a tractor for packing purposes

Back to Top

b. Exemptions from Hazardous Agricultural Occupations

To be considered for the student learner exemptions, a 16 or 17 year old must enrolled in a course of study and training in a cooperative vocational training program under a recognized State or local educational authority or in a course of study in a substantially similar program conducted by a private school. Such work must be intermittent and for short periods of time and is under the direct and close supervision of a qualified and experienced person. Safety instructions must be given by the school and correlated by the employer with on-the-job training. A schedule of organized and progressive work processes to be performed on the job must have been prepared.

Each written agreement must contain the name of student-learner, and must be signed by the employer and the school coordinator or principal. Copies of each agreement must be kept on file by both the school and the employer. This exemption for the employment of student learners may be revoked in any individual situation where it is found that reasonable precautions have not been observed for the safety of the student. A high school graduate may be employed in an occupation in which he has completed training as provided in this paragraph as a student-learner, even though he or she is not yet 18 years of age.

A minor who is at least 14 years of age may operate a farm tractor if the minor is a 4-H member who is at least 14 years of age, is familiar with the normal working hazards of agriculture and has completed and passed a written examination from a 10-hour training program which includes the following units from the manuals of the 4-H tractor program conducted by, or in accordance with the requirements of, the Cooperative Extension Service of a land grant university:

  • First-year Manual:
    Unit 1--Learning How to be Safe
    Unit 4--The Instrument Panel
    Unit 5--Controls for Your Tractor
    Unit 6--Daily Maintenance and Safety Check
    Unit 7--Starting and Stopping Your Tractor
  • Second-year Manual:
    Unit 1--Tractor Safety on the Farm
  • Second-year Manual:
    Unit 1--Tractor Safety on the Highway
    Unit 3--Hitches, Power-take-off, and Hydraulic Controls

The minor's employer must maintain a certification of this completed training on file with the minor employee's records.

A minor who is at least 14 years of age may operate a farm machine if the minor is a 4-H member who is at least 14 years of age, has completed a 4 hour orientation course familiarizing him or her in the normal working hazards of agriculture and has completed and passed a written examination from a 20-hour training program which includes the above requirements of the 4-H tractor program conducted by, or in accordance with the requirements of, the Cooperative Extension Service of a land grant university.

A minor who is at least 14 years of age may operate a farm tractor if the minor is an agricultural vocational student who is at least 14 years of age, is familiar with the normal working hazards of agriculture and has completed and passed written and practical examinations following a 15 hour Vocational Agriculture Training Program in Safe Tractor Operation. The minor's employer must maintain a certification of this completed training on file with the minor employee's records.

A minor who is at least 14 years of age may operate a farm machine if the minor is an agricultural vocational student who is at least 14 years of age, has completed the "Tractor Safety" requirements listed above for a vocational student and has completed and passed written and practical examinations following a 10 hour Vocational Agriculture Training Program in Farm Machinery Operation. The minor's employer must maintain a certification of this completed training on file with the minor employee's records.