Hired Agricultural Youth Work Guidelines Published

There are many benefits to adolescents working in agriculture, but there also are risks. This is especially true when youth are assigned jobs beyond their capabilities. Since 2009, more youth have died working in agriculture than in all other industries combined.

The just-published Hired Agricultural Youth Work Guidelines (HAYWG) are designed to help farm employers and supervisors of hired youth reduce the risk of injury for young workers. HAYWG includes guidance for training and supervising young workers. It also includes information on regulations and tip sheets for supervising youth performing common farm tasks. Adults can use this resource in tandem with the Agricultural Youth Work Guidelines (AYWG). This can help them assign age- and ability-appropriate tasks to youth.

“Employers, supervisors and farm parents will find these guidelines helpful,” said Marsha Salzwedel, Ed.D., agricultural youth safety specialist with the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute. “It is important to know the regulations for youth hired to work on farms. It’s also important to understand how training and supervising youth is different from adults. Youth don’t have the same physical and cognitive abilities as adults. They also tend to have shorter attention spans, are susceptible to peer pressure, tend to be impulsive, are more willing to take risks, and are less likely to ask questions than adults.”

The booklet and individual guidelines are available at cultivatesafety.org/hired-youth and can be used for in-person training and/or as posters to remind employers, supervisors, and workers of the importance of staying safe.