Hazardous and Detrimental Occupations for Youths

Hazardous and Detrimental Occupation Limitations for Youths:


Seventeen Hazardous Orders: The Wage and Hour Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act have seventeen hazardous occupations in which no youth under the age of 18 may be employed. These limitations apply to all youths under the age of 18, even those employed by their parent or legal guardian.

1. Manufacturing and storing explosives. 10. *Slaughtering, meat-packing processing or rendering
2. **Motor-vehicle driving and outside helper 11. Power-driven bakery machines
3. Coal mining 12. *Power-driven paper-products machines
4. Logging and sawmilling 13. Manufacturing brick, tile and kindred products
5. *Power-driven woodworking machines 14. *Power-driven circular saws, band saws and guillotine shears
6. Exposure to radioactive substances 15. Wrecking, demolition and ship-breaking operations
7. Power-driven hoisting apparatus 16. *Roofing operations
8. *Power-driven metal-forming, punching and shearing machines 17. *Excavation operations
9. Mining, other than coal mining  


* Limited apprenticeship or student-learner program exemptions may apply.


** The Wage and Hour Act has a limited exemption for businesses covered by N.C. law only. The youth must be 16 or 17 years of age with a valid N.C. drivers license. The youth may drive an automobile not more than 6,000 pounds gross vehicle weight. Employers subject to the FLSA are subject to more limited driving exemptions.

For more information about Hazardous Occupations for youths, please visit the U.S. Department of Labor website.

Nine Detrimental Occupations: In addition to the seventeen hazardous occupations prohibited to youths under 18 years of age by federal law, the N.C. commissioner of labor has adopted regulations identifying nine detrimental occupations in which youths under 18 may not be employed:

1. Welding, brazing and torch cutting
2. Any processes where quartz or any other form of silicon dioxide or asbestos silicate is present in powdered form.
3. Any work involving exposure to lead or any of its compounds in any form.
4. At any work involving exposure to benzene or any benzene compound that is volatile or can penetrate the skin.
5. Occupations in canneries, seafood and poultry processing that involve cutting or slicing machines, or freezing or packaging activities.
6. Any work which involves the risk of falling a distance of 10 feet or more, including ladders and scaffolds.
7. Any work as an electrician or electrician’s helper.
8. Any work in confined spaces.
9. Occupations requiring the use of respirators.

 Exception: Youths and employers working under the supervision of bona fide apprenticeship or student-learner programs, as defined the FLSA, are exempt from the prohibition against employment of youths in detrimental occupations; special work guidelines still apply to these exemptions.

For more information about workplace rights, please contact our toll free number at 1-800-NC-LABOR (800-625-2267).