What are the age requirements for minors operating machinery?

age requirements The Fair Labor Standards Act is responsible for setting hours, wages, and safety requirements for minors. A minor, according to the [Department of Labor, is anyone under the age of 18. But not all minors are eligible for the same work. A minor’s ability to operate machinery, for instance, depends on a number […]

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age requirements

The Fair Labor Standards Act is responsible for setting hours, wages, and safety requirements for minors. A minor, according to the [Department of Labor, is anyone under the age of 18. But not all minors are eligible for the same work. A minor’s ability to operate machinery, for instance, depends on a number of factors including the age of the minor, the kind of machinery, and the type of job that the minor will potentially be doing.

Minors 14 – 15

14 to 15-year-olds may work with:

  • Vacuums and floor waxers
  • Bicycles
  • Cash registers
  • Cooking grills that don’t have an open flame, and fryers that have automatically raising and lowering baskets

14 to 15-year-olds may not perform:

  • Baking
  • Operating or assisting operation of power driven machinery
  • All work involving ladders, scaffolds, or similar equipment

Minors 16 – 17

May perform any non-hazardous job (outlined below.)

Hazardous Work – Not For Minors

Minors aren’t permitted to work jobs deemed hazardous by the federal government. A few of these roles include:

  • Driving a motor vehicle, or operating outside of a moving motor vehicle
  • Coal mining
  • Logging or sawmilling
  • Meat packing or processing
  • Operating power-driven bakery machines
  • Operating power driven woodworking, metal-forming, or paper producing machines
  • Roofing work

Conclusion

Minors are generally not allowed to operate power-driven machinery for work, or to perform hazardous jobs. For more specific inquiries, check out the lists of prohibited/allowable work for minors in the links below, and don’t forget to check out your state’s laws for any additional provisions.

Helpful Links:

Hiring Minors for Your Business – Findlaw.com

Prohibited Occupations for Non-Agricultural Employees – DOL.gov

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