Study published in the March issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said that U.S youths aged 14 to 18 worked at retail and service jobs during the school year put in an average of 16 hours a week. Also that they often worked at jobs that are dangerous and unsupervised.
The report came from the University of North Carolina and stated that some of the working conditions found in interviews with a representative sample of 928 teenage workers violated federal law.
“Teens are exposed to multiple hazards, use dangerous equipment despite federal prohibitions and work long hours during the school week,” the report said.
“They also lacked consistent training and adult supervision on the job,” the report added.
The study also showed that girls were more likely to be exposed to robbery risks due to the fact that girls were more likely to handle cash. Boys on the other hand reported less supervision than girls.
Federal regulations prohibits teens under 18 years of age from using certain types of dangerous equipment such as slicers, dough mixers, box crushers and paper balers. The study found though that more than half of the boys and 43 percent of the girls said they had done work that was prohibited.
Federal laws also restrict based on age what kind of jobs teens may work in. For the most part at the age of 16 a teen can work any job that is not declared hazardous. Hazardous jobs include logging and sawmilling, power-drivin woodworking machines, meat packing or processing; this includes power-driven meat slicing machines, power-driven paper-product machines and power-driven bakery machines. This is just a small list of what any teen under the age of 18 is prohibited from doing by federal law.
“Many teens are performing tasks that are prohibited by current federal child labor laws. Our results also suggest gaps in both safety training and supervision of working teens because approximately one-third of the teens reported not receiving any safety training,” the report has stated.
The study also showed that teens were working nearly three times a week after 7pm on school nights. Thirty-seven percent of those under 16 reported having worked after 7 pm on a school night.
Federal law states that if a teen is 14 or 15 years of age they can not work before 7 a.m. and can not work after 7 p.m.. The exception to this is from June 1st through Labor Day. During this time they can not work past 9 p.m.
If the teen is 16 years or older there is no restriction on the amount of hours or when the teen can work. They are allowed to work any day, any time of day and for any number of hours each week.
The report also stated that among those who were trained, some critical areas such as what one should do in the event of a robbery or how to deal with arguments or fights among co-workers were not addressed.