Teens in the Work Place
The Florida Child Labor Law and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provide the rules and regulations governing the working relationships between minors and their employers in Florida. The purpose of the law is to protect the health and welfare of minors in the workplace and to safeguard their education. This is accomplished by limiting the hours that minors may work and the kinds of jobs they may perform.
Employers should be aware that with the flexibility of employing minors in the work place, comes added responsibility of close supervision. Florida law states that if an injured minor is employed in violation of any provisions of the child labor laws of Florida, an employer may be subject to up to double the compensation otherwise payable under Section 440.54 of the Florida Workers’ Compensation law. The employer alone, and not the insurance carrier, shall be liable for the increased compensation.
Each year in the United States, about 70 teens die from work injuries and 70,000 get hurt badly enough that they go to a hospital emergency room.
Safety Tips for Employers
• Comply with child labor laws and occupational health and safety regulations that apply to your business.
• Assess and eliminate hazards for teen workers.
• Train teen workers to use safe work practices, recognize hazards and prepare for emergencies.
• Assure that teen workers are appropriately supervised.
Recommendations for Reducing Work Place Injuries
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends that employers take the following steps to protect adolescent workers and minimize accidents.
• Know and comply with child labor laws and occupational safety and health regulations that apply to your business. Post these regulations for workers to read.
• Assess and eliminate the potential for injury or illness associated with tasks required of adolescents.
• Provide training to ensure that adolescents recognize hazards and are competent in safe work practices.
• Routinely verify that the adolescents continue to recognize hazards and employ safe work practices.
• Evaluate equipment that adolescents are required to operate to ensure that it is both legal and safe for use by adolescents.
• Ensure that adolescents are appropriately supervised to prevent injuries and hazardous exposures.
• Involve supervisors and experienced workers in developing an injury and illness prevention program and in identifying and solving safety and health problems.
National Institute of Safety and Heath (NIOSH) Young Worker Safety and Health Site
This site contains numerous links and information safety, preventing injuries, injury rates, and more.
United States Department of Labor, Youth & Labor, Federal Safety and Health Site
The United States Department of Labor has a very comprehensive site covering safety, and federal hour and hazardous limitations.
Teen Worker OSHA Web Site
The Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) has developed their own site specifically aimed at youth employment safety.
The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has developed a foundation curriculum-ideal for the classroom or other group settings. It is customized for each state and addresses state-specific rules and regulations. View a video on recognizing hazards in the workplace.
All requests for publications, documents, forms, applications for licenses, permits and other similar certifications can be obtained by contacting the Child Labor Division. Business Hours are 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday thru Friday.
Jerry Wilson, Director
Division of Regulation
Sophia Terrelonge, Program Manager
Child Labor Program
2601 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0783