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Students and Young Workers

For users in school, college, apprenticeship programs, and/or new to the job

Students and Young Workers

For teachers, employers and other trainers (e.g., loss control representatives, private instructors, workers compensation representatives, associations representatives, etc.)

Why is this eTool so important?

This eTool contains practical information to use when conducting safety and health training.

Students and young workers are vital to your workforce because they are enthusiastic and eager to work and learn. Statistically, new or inexperienced individuals are at greater risk of serious or fatal injuries. The construction industry employs less than 3% of all young workers but ranks third in the number of work related fatalities to youth (i.e. 14% of all occupational death to youth under 18).

How are most injuries occurring?

Students and young workers get hurt when they:

  • Perform work tasks (sometimes without being asked) without training and previous experience
  • Lack supervision
  • Perform dangerous tasks
  • Perform tasks that violate safety and youth employment laws

Can under 18 years olds perform all job tasks?


If you are 18 years or older, there are no prohibitions on you working in construction. The law prohibits 16 and 17 year olds from working on certain hazardous tasks in construction (such as operating saws, trenching, roofing, etc. - for a complete list see www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/ChildLaborLawPamphlet.pdf) unless certain conditions are met:

  • A student - learner is enrolled in a course of study and training in a cooperative vocational training program operated by state or local authorities or by a private school. Safety training is provided by the school and the employer with the on-the-job training. Under the direct and close supervision of a qualified and experienced person a student-learner is allowed to perform hazardous work.
  • An apprentice employed in an approved apprenticeship program of a recognized apprenticeable trade and under the close supervision of a journeyman.

For details on student-learners and apprentices being able to work in hazardous occupations, see Laws to Know and Child Labor Regulations, Orders And Statements Of Interpretation