Labor Department's Proposal to Protect Children from Farm Work Fails
Associated Press, July 10, 2012
" "There's always a risk in life, no matter what you do."
Labor Department officials don't deny that, but they note that children performing farm work are four times more likely to be killed than those employed in all other industries combined.
Under the Labor Department's failed proposal, paid farm workers would have to be 16 to use power equipment, such as tractors. They would have to be 18 to work at grain elevators, silos and feedlots. The rules would not have applied to children working at farms owned by their parents, but they would have limited the paid jobs youngsters could do on their neighbors' and relatives' farms.
John Myers, chief of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Administration's surveillance and field investigations branch, said it's unfortunate the agency dropped its proposal in the face of intense opposition from agricultural groups. Agency officials have said they will not take up the matter again as long as Barack Obama is president."