Dangerous Jobs for Teens

Dangerous Jobs for Teens

by / Wednesday, 15 June 2022 / Published in Workplace Woes
A young woman works as a cashier.

Once the school year draws to a close, kids are left with a lot of spare time. For teenagers, summer vacation can be a great opportunity to earn some money by working a summer job. Summer jobs can have a lot of benefits for teens beyond letting them earn money, such as helping them learn responsibility and improving their confidence levels. And with so many companies dealing with labor shortages, teens looking for a summer job should have many  options to choose from. 

However, as great as jobs can be for teens, there can be some safety risks involved. While it’s true that the US Department of Labor has many different restrictions on what types of work minors can and cannot do, even doing the types of work permitted by the DOL can have safety risks involved. There’s also the fact that even though teens are legally prohibited from doing certain types of work, employers may try to disregard those regulations. 

Even though many teens aren’t working full time, that doesn’t mean they don’t get hurt on the job. According to the CDC, 409 workers under the age of 24 died of work-related injuries. Additionally, in 2018, the rate of work-related injuries treated in emergency departments was 2.2x higher among workers age 15-19 than it was for workers age 25 and older. So, what are some of the most dangerous types of jobs for teens?

Landscaping & Outdoor Maintenance

For many kids, mowing lawns for people in their neighborhood in their spare time helps them earn some extra cash. But whether they’re going into business for themselves or working with a landscaping company, there’s the simple fact that this type of work involves working with machinery, such as mowers, trimmers, and choppers, which can be very dangerous if not used correctly. In addition to machinery, working outside during the summer comes with the risk of heat-related illnesses. If chemicals like insecticides need to be used, it’s important to be trained on how to use it safely. 


Speaking of working outdoors, teens are legally allowed to work in many agricultural jobs, including ones that involve harvesting crops with machinery or using machinery for other purposes, which puts them at risk of being injured by that equipment. Not only is it very common for teen workers to be injured while working agricultural jobs, those injuries very often occur while the teen isn’t actually working. 


Retail is by far one of the most common types of jobs for teens. But many people don’t realize just how dangerous it can potentially be. Moving boxes or other heavy objects can lead to overexertion. If those boxes need to be unpacked, they may use sharp tools like box cutters to open them up. Slips, trips, and falls are extremely common. In some cases, a person might have to make a lot of repetitive movements, such as checking out customers in a grocery store. There’s also the fact that retail establishments are a common target for robberies and store employees can face the risk of being assaulted by disgruntled customers. 


The US Department of Labor has very specific regulations that apply to teens working in restaurants. But even with those restrictions in place, it’s still easy to get hurt. Handling platters of hot food will always be risky, as will washing things like knives and other slicing tools or spending time near hot grills and deep fryers in kitchens. 

Door-to-Door Sales

The Department of Labor prohibits door-to-door sales work for people aged 14 and 15. But for teens above that age range, working as part of a traveling door-to-door sales team is something that is not recommended. Spending time away from a main worksite where they may enter the homes of strangers and have little-to-no direct supervision can invite many risks to workers of any age. But teens can be particularly susceptible to getting hurt because of their lack of experience. Because of the risks involved with door-to-door sales, many sales companies do not hire workers under the age of 18.

Contact a Michigan Workplace Injury Lawyer

We all need to earn a living, but earning an income should not have to mean jeopardizing your personal safety. Far too often, employers are only too happy to cut corners to save time or money, but it’s workers who end up paying the price. 

No matter how old you are, don’t hesitate to contact a workplace injury lawyer if you’ve been injured on the job. It’s extremely important to make sure your workers compensation case is handled correctly so that you get all of the compensation you need. At Goodwin & Scieszka, we’re experienced in helping the victims of workplace accidents in the state of Michigan. Contact us today to get started.

Image: Pexels / Andrea Piacquadio