Teen Worker Safety & Health

Teen workers are a vulnerable population with unique needs, including different learning styles. Many have little to no experience in the workplace. This can lead to exposures to serious hazards while working.

Employers who hire teen workers (workers younger than 18) need to provide safety training that is specific and targeted to hazards in their industry to ensure they understand what necessary measures are in place to protect them.

This page provides safety and health resource information for employers, supervisors, and teen workers to keep everyone safe and working.

Requirements & Policies

General requirements for teen workers

To keep teen workers safe and healthy, youth under the age of 18 are prohibited from certain duties on the job. Prohibited duties vary depending on the worker’s age and whether the job is agricultural or non-agricultural. See the Prohibited Duties page to learn about these limitations. 

See How to Hire Minors to learn about the requirements for hiring workers younger than 18. The minimum legal age to work in Washington State is 14 years old, with some exceptions. Special considerations for teen workers include:

Specific rules for hiring teens

Other safety and health rules that may apply

Training & Resources

Meeting Workplace Safety & Health Requirements

All employers in Washington state must have a written Accident Prevention Program (APP). Employers that hire workers younger than age 18 may want to document ways to ensure young workers are not allowed to perform duties that are prohibited for workers younger than 18.

Use the optional resources below to build and strengthen your workplace safety program, and keep teen workers safe and healthy.

Videos

Publications, Handouts, Checklists

L&I Publications

Handouts & Checklists

Safety Campaigns & Outreach