June 21, 1999
Teens should find safe work this summer
With the ring of the last school bell, thousands of Washington teens will pour from their classrooms and into summer jobs. As the summer hiring season begins, the Department of Labor and Industries is urging employers to do everything possible to ensure a safe work environment for kids with summer jobs.
Here are some of the rules employers and parents should be aware of for non-agricultural workers:
Those who employ teens are required to obtain a minor work permit from L & I and parent authorization for the job assignments and hours the teen will be assigned. For information: Linda Merz, 360-902-5403 (phone), firstname.lastname@example.org (e-mail).
- In general, 14- and 15-year-olds can be employed to perform only such light tasks as sweeping, cashiering, and office work, and at ground level.
- Work assignments for teens 16 and older can be less restrictive, like cooking, heavier cleaning, or landscape maintenance. But they can't use power-driven tools or saws, or operate a vehicle, neither are they allowed to work around heavy equipment or on a ladder taller than 10 feet.
- Generally, if safety equipment other than a hard hat, eye protection, or gloves is required to do the job, then it's not an appropriate job for minors.
- Minors 14 and 15 can work up to 40 hours per week while school is not in session; 16-year-olds and above can work 48 hours. They can put in no more than six days per week, with limits on how early and late they can work.
- A responsible adult must always be present.