Work Scope for Minors Must Be Accurately Reviewed, Approved, and Documented
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Type:  Lessons Learned

Publisher:  Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA

Date: 

Topics:  Chemical Safety, Occupational Safety and Health, Training and Qualification, Material Handling/Storage, Laboratory

A small amount of liquid dripped into a high school intern's eye while working in the Environmental Molecular Science Lab (EMSL). The intern's approved work scope did not cover the tasks she was performing at the time of the incident. While the intern had the skills and desire to perform work outside her initial approved duties, management assigned her the task but did not revise the approved Workplace Evaluation for Minors form so that the expanded scope could be re-evaluated and approved. Lessons Learned: Washington State Laws regarding the employment of minors (under 18 years old), are very restrictive. The work scope of any minors must be carefully reviewed by Worker Safety & Health (WS&H), Operations Managers, and the line manager to make sure the scope does not include any restricted tasks. Following this incident, PNNL's Leadership Team decided that all minors should be restricted from performing work in locations with hazards, e.g., chemical, laser, electrical. Please open the attachment for full details and discussion of the lessons that were learned.

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