Large numbers of teens are working afternoons, evenings, weekends and summers. Teens are also working during school hours, in jobs secured through school in cooperative education, school-to-career, internships, and career technical education programs. Learning to recognize and avoid potential job hazards is an important skill for adolescents to develop. Equally important is learning about their rights and responsibilities in the workplace. Guiding adolescents and parents toward choosing a safe and meaningful working experience that does not detract from school should be a goal of Massachusetts schools and communities.

School and Community Goals

  • provide teachers, staff, parents, and teens with education about choosing appropriate and safe work;
  • assure schools have the necessary training to issue work permits in accordance with the child labor laws (see Exhibit 13-9);
  • provide training to teachers, staff and students on recognizing and preventing job hazards and on rights and responsibilities under the child labor laws and workplace health and safety regulations;
  • report cases of work-related injuries to teens less than 18 years of age immediately to the Department of Public Health's Occupational Health Surveillance Program; and
  • work with employers of teens to assure compliance with child labor laws and a safe and healthful workplace for all employees.

Mandated Reporting: Under 105 CMR 300.180 all health care providers must report all serious work-related injuries to persons less than 18 years of age to the Department of Public Health.

Child Labor Laws: The state child labor laws can be found in the General Laws of Massachusetts Chapter 149: Labor and Industries. The federal child labor laws can be found in 29 CFR Part 570. See next exhibit for a compilation of the most protective state and federal child labor laws.

Resources: Curricula, fact sheets, videos, and educational materials are available from the following agencies: Massachusetts Department of Public Health Occupational Health Surveillance Program, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General, U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division, Massachusetts Division of Occupational Safety, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, The Young Workers Safety Resource Center, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

For More Information

Occupational Health Surveillance Program, DPH
Phone: 617-624-5632


This information is provided by the School Health Services within the Department of Public Health.