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The commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry has established some occupations as hazardous or detrimental to the well being of workers under the age of 16. Additionally, there is work that is prohibited for all workers under the age of 18.

Those under the age of 16 are prohibited from the following work.


Machinery, operations

  • operating or assisting in the operation of machinery;

  • operating laundry, rug cleaning or dry-cleaning equipment;

  • operating power-driven snowblowers, lawn mowers or garden equipment;

  • operating drill presses, milling machines, grinders, lathes and portable power-driven machinery such as drills, sanders, and polishing and scrubbing equipment for floor maintenance;

  • operating meat slicers, textile-making machines or bakery machinery;

  • oiling, cleaning or maintaining any power-driven machinery;

  • using pits, racks or lifting apparatus at service stations or in mounting tires on rims; and

  •  in a car wash to attach cars to or detach them from mechanized conveyor lines or to operate or contact the car while it is connected to the conveyor.

  • welding;

  • as a loader or launcher for skeet- or trap-shooting;

  • in a manufacturing or commercial warehouse; and

  • in a processing plant.


  • in or around an airport landing strip and maintenance aprons; and

  • as an outside helper on a motor vehicle.

Other limitations

  • lifting, carrying or caring for patients in hospitals or nursing homes; and

  •  in walk-in meat freezers or meat coolers, except for occasional entrance.

Exceptions to the prohibited-work limitations

Exceptions to the prohibited-work limitations include:

  • a minor employed by a business solely owned and daily supervised by one or both parents; and

  • a minor employed at tasks away from or outside the area of hazardous operation, equipment or materials.

State and federal child labor laws

Employers are generally subject to both state child labor laws and the federal child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Certain Minnesota child labor laws are more protective than federal law and vice versa. Employers covered by both Minnesota child labor laws and the federal FLSA must follow the most protective provisions that apply to their employees. Visit for more information about federal child labor law.

For more information

Contact us at, 651-284-5075 or 800-342-5354.