As schools empty for the summer, many teenagers find work in the tree fruit industry. Employers hiring adolescents now have a resource available to help reduce the risk of injuries of young workers.

Training adolescents in safety issues is often difficult because the youth are inexperienced and sometimes reluctant to ask questions. Safety Guidelines for Hired Adolescent Farm Workers was developed specifically for youth and includes resources to be used by crew leaders and other supervisors in the field to address certain work tasks.

The information was patterned after North American Guidelines for Children’s Agricultural Tasks.

The guidelines include ready-to-use training tips, basic principles for training adolescent workers, and employer/supervisor responsibilities. Posters have been developed to help remind the young workers of the importance of being safe.

Adolescents respond most effectively to hands-on training in the job tasks they are to perform, according to the safety experts. The guidelines offer insight into what puts teenagers at risk, how to effectively train them for tasks, and when to train. Spanish-language versions are available.

It should be noted that using the guidelines will not necessarily bring an agricultural employer in complete compliance with all of the laws and regulations pertaining to his or her farm.

Copies of the guidelines are available from the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety by phoning (800) 662-6900 or e-mailing To view the guidelines on the Internet, visit d6coxo.