Ohio Child Labor Laws – Hazardous or Detrimental Occupations


Ohio child labor laws prohibit employers from employing youth in any occupations that have been deemed to be hazardous or detrimental to the health and well-being of youth. OH Code 4109.05





Hazardous or detrimental occupations for 14 and 15 year olds

The following occupations have been deemed to be hazardous or detrimental to the health and well-being of 14 and 15 year olds:

  • any manufacturing occupation
  • any mining occupation
  • processing occupations (except in a retail, food service, or gasoline service establishment in those specific occupations expressly permitted there in accordance with the foregoing list) such as:
    • filleting fish
    • dressing poultry
    • cracking nuts
    • laundering performed by commercial laundries and dry cleaning
  • occupations in workrooms or workplaces where goods are manufactured, mined, or otherwise processed
  • public messenger service
  • occupations operating or tending hoisting apparatus or any power-driven machinery (other than office machines and machines in retail, food service and gasoline service establishments which are not prohibited by other rules)
  • occupations in connection with transporting persons or property by rail, highway, air, on water, pipeline or other means, except office or sales work not performed on transportation media
  • warehousing and storage occupations
  • occupations in connection with communications and public utilities, except office or sales work not performed at the actual construction site
  • construction (including repair) occupations, except office or sales work not performed at the actual construction site
  • any of the following occupations in a retail food service or gasoline service establishment:
    • work performed in or about boiler or engine rooms
    • work in connection with maintenance or repair of the establishment, machines, or equipment
    • outside window washing that involves working from window sills, and all work requiring the use of ladders, scaffolds, or their substitutes
    • cooking (except at soda fountains, lunch counters, snack bars, or cafeteria serving counters) and baking
    • occupations which involve operating, setting up, adjusting, cleaning, oiling, or repairing power-driven food slicers and grinders, food choppers and cutters and bakery-type mixers
    • work in freezers and meat coolers and all work in preparation of meats for sale (except wrapping, sealing, labeling, weighing, pricing and stocking when performed in other areas)
    • loading and unloading goods to and from trucks, railroad cars or conveyors
    • all occupations in warehouses except office and clerical work
    • work in connection with cars and trucks involving the use of pits, racks or lifting apparatus or involving the inflation of any tire mounted on a rim equipped with a removable retaining ring

OH Admin. Code 4101:9-2-02



14 and 15 year olds in agricultural occupations

The following agricultural occupations have been deemed to be hazardous or detrimental to the health and well-being of 14 and 15 year olds:

  • operating a tractor of over twenty PTO horsepower, or connecting or disconnecting an implement or any of its parts to or from such a tractor
  • operating or assisting to operate (including starting, stopping, adjusting, feeding or any other activity involving physical contact associated with the operation) any of the following machines:
    • corn picker
    • cotton picker
    • grain combine
    • hay mower
    • forage harvester
    • hay baler
    • potato digger
    • mobile pea viner
    • feed grinder
    • crop dryer
    • forage blower
    • auger conveyor
    • the unloading mechanism of a nongravity-type self-unloading wagon or trailer
    • power post-hole digger
    • power post driver
    • nonwalking-type rotary tiller
  • perating or assisting to operate (including starting, stopping, adjusting, feeding, or any other activity involving physical contact associated with the operation) any of the following machines:
    • trencher or earthmoving equipment
    • fork lift
    • potato combine
    • power-driven circular, band, or chain saw
  • working on a farm in a yard, pen, or stall occupied by a:
    • bull, boar, or stud horse maintained for breeding purposes
    • sow with suckling pigs, or cow with newborn calf (with umbilical cord present)
  • felling, bucking, skidding, loading, or unloading timber with butt diameter of more than six inches
  • working from a ladder or scaffold (painting, repairing, or building structures, pruning trees, picking fruit, etc.) at a height of over twenty feet
  • driving a bus, truck or automobile when transporting passengers, or riding on a tractor as a passenger or helper
  • working inside:
    • a fruit, forage, or grain storage designed to retain an oxygen deficient or toxic atmosphere
    • an upright silo within two weeks after silage has been added or when a top unloading device is in operating position
    • a manure pit
    • a horizontal silo while operating a tractor for packing purposes
  • handling or applying, including cleaning or decontaminating equipment, disposal or return of empty containers, or serving as a flagman for aircraft applying, agricultural chemicals classified under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act ( 7 U.S.C. 135 et seq.) as category I of toxicity, identified by the word “POISON” and the “skull and crossbones” on the label; or category II of toxicity, identified by the word “WARNING” on the label
  • handling or using a blasting agent, including but not limited to, dynamite, black powder, sensitized ammonium nitrate, blasting caps, and primer cord
  • transporting, transferring, or applying anhydrous ammonia

OH Admin. Code 4101:9-2-03



Door-to-door sales

Ohio child labor laws prohibit employers from employing youth under the age of 16 in door-to-door sales activity unless the employer is registered with the Ohio Department of Commerce. Door-to-door sales activity includes selling or offering to sell candy, cookies, flowers, newspapers, magazines, newspaper or magazine subscriptions, household cleaning products, or any other merchandise or commodity away from the employer’s place of business. It does not include any selling conducted in connection with a bona fide educational, charitable, or religious activity. It also does not include any selling for a newspaper subscription drive so long as the minor also delivers newspapers to the consumer for the newspaper in which the subscription drive is conducted and the subscription drive is supervised by an individual who is eighteen years of age or older and an employee of the newspaper’s subscription drive. OH Code 4109.21



Exemptions for 14 and 15 year olds

Ohio child labor laws provide the following exemptions from its prohibitions of 14 and 15 year olds performing the hazardous agricultural occupations listed above:

  • when youth perform the work in connection with farms operated by their parents, grandparents, or guardian
  • when the youth hold certificates of completion from the 4-H federal extension service training program and the United States office of education vocational agriculture training program for tractor operation or machine operation and they work in the occupations for which they have been certified (farmers employing minors who are certified under these programs must keep a copy of the certificates of completion on file with the minor employee’s record)

OH Admin. Code 4101:9-2-03



17 year olds and younger

Ohio child labor laws prohibit youth from working in the following occupations, unless an exemption applies, because they have been deemed to be hazardous or detrimental to the health and well-being of the youth:

  • slaughtering, meat-packing, processing, or rendering occupations
  • power-driven bakery machine occupations
  • occupations involved in the manufacture of brick, tile, or similar products
  • chemical manufacturing occupations
  • occupations involved in the manufacture or storage of explosives
  • occupations involved in the exposure to radioactive substances and to ionizing radiation
  • power-driven paper-products machine occupations
  • power-driven metal forming, punching, and shearing machine operations
  • power-driven cicular saw, band saw, and guillotine shear occupations
  • power-driven woodworking machine occupations
  • coal mine occupations
  • mining occupations, other then coal
  • logging and sawmilling occupations
  • motor vehicle occupations
  • maritime and longshoreman occcupations
  • railroad occupations
  • excavation operations occupations
  • power-driven hoisting apparatus occupations
  • roofing operations occupations
  • wrecking, demolition, and shipbreaking occupations

OH Admin. Code 4101:9-2-04 – 4101:9-2-23