Teenage Workers

Workers Compensation For Teenage Workers

When Minors are injured on the job

When a child hits a certain age, usually around 16 or 17, parents often encourage them to pursue a job in order to instill independence and valuable life skills. While many of these jobs are temporary summer positions or part time gigs that seem harmless, oftentimes these jobs are more dangerous than parents realize.

Are your teenage workers in danger?

Teenage workers are often injured at work for a combination of reasons. Sometimes it’s simply that teens are often youthful and inexperienced. Jobs that adults would avoid for obvious safety reasons are passed down to the teens, who are more likely to be willing to perform such tasks.

The top 3 causes of workplace injuries for teens involve heavy machinery, falls, and accidental exposure to harmful chemicals. Since teenagers lack the experience, they also lack the knowledge of the risks present in their workplaces. They’re also unaware of their rights. It’s both the responsibility of the teen and his/her parents to seek out advice from an experienced workers compensation attorney to help identify what these risks are and how they can be avoided.

The most hazardous jobs for teenage workers

Another way teens can avoid workplace injury is by ensuring they’re working in a safe workplace. Generally, a retail or food service environment is ideal. The most dangerous fields for teenage workers include:

  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Landscaping
  • Sales that require travel

A lot of times, teens are hired on farms or to help tidy up a yard but these types of jobs expose teenage workers to a number of unsafe conditions, including heavy equipment, potentially faulty machinery, and harsh weather conditions that increase the likelihood of an accident.

What employers are responsible for to keep your teenage workers safe

Luckily, in South Carolina, there are a number of laws in place to protect teenage workers. There are certain age requirements and correlating working conditions that help prevent injury in the workplace. There are also strict legal age limitations to protect minors.

South Carolina employers are required to keep up-to-date labor laws visibly posted in the workplace at all times. When hiring minors, they must obtain legal documentation of age, such as a driver’s license or birth certificate.

Legal Ages and Summary Requirements to work in south carolina

  • Ages 14-15: Teenager can’t work more than 18 hours/wk or more than 3 hrs/day during the school year. Not allowed to work before 7:00am or after 7:00pm
  • Ages 16-17: Can’t work in any job deemed by the Secretary of Labor to be dangerous or injurious to the life, health, morals, or welfare of a minor
  • Ages 18-20: Minor or young adults must be at least 18 to work in establishments that serve or sell alcohol
  • Age 21: No restrictions. Must be at least 21 to serve alcohol

What jobs are available to teenage workers?

South Carolina law allows and encourages minors to hold clerical, office, and service industry jobs. The state recognizes the benefits of working at a young age, like experience, responsibility, and social development. Some of the jobs available for teenage workers are:

  • Cashier
  • Cleanup crew
  • Car washer/polisher
  • Grocery clerk/bagger
  • Food or beverage server
  • Stocker
  • Gas station attendant
  • Delivery

There are restricted positions for children under 16, for safety purposes. These positions are proven to be hazardous by the state of South Carolina for people without experience.

  • warehouse/storage work
  • Food prep (anything that requires use of knives, grinders, and other potentially hazardous kitchen equipment)
  • Public utility
  • Car repair
  • Any work that requires use of ladders/scaffolding (roofing, construction, etc)
  • Operation of lawn mowers, ATVs/UTVs, or golf carts

There are also banned positions for all minors under 18 years of age, including:

  • Work with explosives or explosive materials
  • Work with radioactive material
  • Work that requires use of a motor vehicle
  • Work that requires use of power-driven machinery
  • brick/tile manufacture
  • Logging
  • Mining/excavation
  • Roofing

What to do if your teenage worker is injury

South Carolina has a lot of laws in place to protect minors in the workplace. That being said, accidents happen. Regardless of employee age, an injured employee is entitled to workers comp benefits and compensation for injury. There are serious penalties for employers that are found in violation of child labor laws when minors are injured. The employer, not just the employer’s insurer, can be held responsible for as much as double the compensation costs for their failure to protect minors.

When it comes to a minor getting injured, the consequences are serious and complicated. Contact The Clardy Law Firm for a free consultation as to what the best course of action is for your child. Our experienced South Carolina workers comp attorneys are standing by to answer whatever questions you may have about the process of receiving workers teens comp benefits for your teenage worker.