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Are You a Teen Worker?


March 2012
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2012-130

Note: This publication supersedes 2011-184

cover of 2012-130

You’re earning your own money. You’re making new friends. You’re learning new things and becoming independent. Work can be a fun, rewarding, and an exciting part of your life. But did you know that your job could harm you?

Every 9 minutes, a U.S. teen gets hurt on the job. These teens are young people like Emily, who was working alone at a sandwich shop when a robber with a gun attacked her. And they’re like Joe, a construction helper who was electrocuted on his job.

This guide gives you the facts you need to stay safe and healthy at work. It also shows you what jobs you can (and can’t) do, and it teaches you about your rights and responsibilities as a young worker. (Farm jobs aren’t covered here, because the laws for farm work are different.) The Resources on page 5 will give you ideas about where to go for help if you have a health or safety problem at work. Don’t be afraid to speak up!