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Archive for June, 2010

Although my pseudonym refers to the father of Occupational Medicine who published ‘De Morbis Artificum’ (Diseases of Workers) in 1700, I want to extend workplace concerns to our youth and update you on child labor regulations that apply to modern workplaces in the United States.  On May 20, 2010, The Department of Labor published the Final Rule that represents the most important and extensive changes to the child labor regulations in the last three decades.  This Final Rule will go into effect July 19, 2010.  The revised regulations add new hazardous occupation orders which prohibit youth under 18 from working in certain jobs.  These jobs include:  “1) working at poultry slaughtering and packaging plants, 2) riding in a forklift as a passenger, 3) working forest fire fighting, forestry services, and timber tract management, 4) operating certain power-driven hoists and work assist vehicles, 5) operating balers and compacters designed or used for non-paper products, and 6) operating power-driven chain saws, wood chippers, reciprocating saws, and abrasive cutting discs.”  (see US Dept. Of Labor website with side-by-side changes at  http://www.dol.gov/whd/cl/SidebySideReg3FinalRule.htm ).  The Final Rule also extends safe workplace options for 14- and 15-year-olds.  The child labor laws (Fair Labor Standards Act) are much weaker for the agricultural sector, and the changes in hazardous orders above only impact the non-agricultural sector.  Be aware that there is a bill, “Children’s Act for Responsible Employment” (CARE Act), HR 3564 which is being proposed to the current Congress that will strengthen the regulations for young agricultural workers. You can track this bill at http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-3564 .

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