The campaign includes resources for young workers, parents and educations. It also includes a delineation of an employer’s responsibilities with respect to young workers.

The federal agency also reminded employers that child labor laws restrict the types of jobs, hours worked, and equipment used by youth under age 18. Of specific interest to aging services providers in this regard is an enforcement bulletin issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) in 2011 to establish parameters whereby 16- and 17-year-old workers can operate patient lifts.

Other employer responsibilities with respect to young workers:

  • Ensure that young workers receive training to recognize hazards and are competent in safe work practices. Training should be in a language and vocabulary that workers can understand and should include prevention of fires, accidents, and violent situations and what to do if injured.
  • Implement a mentoring or buddy system for new young workers. Have an adult or experienced young worker answer questions and help the new young worker learn the ropes of a new job.
  • Encourage young workers to ask questions about tasks or procedures that are unclear or not understood. Tell them whom to ask.
  • Remember that young workers are not just “little adults,” and employers should be mindful of the unique aspects of communicating with young workers.
  • Ensure that equipment operated by young workers is legal and safe for them to use. Employers should label equipment that young workers are not allowed to operate.