The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is proposing revisions to child labor laws that will strengthen safety requirements for young workers in agriculture and related fields. The regulations that bar them from certain tasks under the Fair Labor Standards Act have not been updated since they were created in 1970.
According to a report from the DOL, the plan would strengthen current child labor regulations prohibiting agricultural work with animals and in pesticide handling, timber operations, manure pits, and storage bins. It would prohibit farm workers under 16 from participating in the cultivation, harvesting, and curing of tobacco. And it would ban youth in agricultural and nonagricultural employment from using electronic devices while operating power-driven equipment. (WCxKit)
The Department is also proposing to prevent children under 18 from storing, marketing, and transporting farm product raw materials. Prohibited places of employment would include grain elevators, grain bins, silos, stockyards, and livestock exchanges and auction. The revisions would prohibit farm workers under 16 from operating almost all power-driven equipment.
Noting the vulnerability of children working in agriculture Labor Secretary Hilda Solis stated, “Ensuring their welfare is a priority of the department, and this proposal is another element of our comprehensive approach.”
Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
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