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Youth Labor Laws May Change

Bill Burris, Flickr

The U.S. Department of Labor is considering making changes to laws effecting workers 16 and under.  They are accepting public comment on the changes until December 1.  Read on for the details and let us know what you think.

The new regulations effect youth who work in agriculture.  Most changes would effect workers 16 and under.  Many farmers feel the new rules would be too restricting, but all recognize the importance of work safety.

Mlive.com reports:

According to a federal report, between 1992 and 1997, 162 youths younger than 18 working in agriculture, forestry or fishing died from a work-related incident. That represents 40 percent of all youth who died from work-related incidents in the same time frame.

The USDL highlights some of the proposed changes:

  • Prohibit hired farm workers under the age of 16 from employment in the cultivation, harvesting and curing of tobacco.
  • Prohibit youth in both agricultural and nonagricultural employment from using electronic devices, including communication devices, while operating power-driven equipment.
  • Prohibit hired farm workers under the age of 16 from operating almost all power-driven equipment.

The regulations would not apply to children who work on a farm owned by their parents.

Are these regulations necessary or do they go too far?

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