NIOSH Alert – Fair Labor Standards Act


Fair Labor Standards Act

The FLSA is the primary law governing the employment of youths under the age of 18. In addition to setting limits on the types of work that youths under 16 can perform, FLSA prohibits work for youths under age 18 in occupations declared by the Secretary of labor to be especially hazardous- Hazardous Orders. Youths under age 16 are prohibited from working in construction and manufacturing under Child Labor Regulation No.3. Hazardous Order No.16, Occupations in Roofing Operations prohibits workers under age 18 from performing roofing work in non-agricultural industries, but it does not prohibit workers under age 18 from installing skylights. Some exemptions exist for student learners and apprentices, though no final action has been taken, the Department of Labor has proposed amending HO16 to expand the ban from all roofing occupations to include all work performed on a roof. NIOSH supports this amendment based on documented risks to youths on roofs that are not limited to roofing operations.

The following cases were investigated by the NIOSH FACE program and NIOSH-Supported State-based FACE programs. The cases were selected to represent a variety of falls through skylights and other roof and floor openings. Through 2002, the FACE program investigated 43 fatal falls through skylights and roof and floor openings. Complete FACE reports are available on the NIOSH Website:

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