The U.S. Department of Labor has extended the commenting period on new regulations for child labor on farms.
Comments must be submitted through Regulations.gov, the federal government’s public comment portal, by Thursday, December 1.
Instructions for using Regulations.gov:
1) Click here
to access the Regulations.gov portal
2) Fill out the requested information under ENTER INFORMATION
3) Copy the following text, paste it into the box under TYPE COMMENT and click SUBMIT
The U.S. Department of Labor is hoping to improve the safety of young workers in agriculture by revising the current child labor regulations.
The proposed changes prohibit children under the age of 18 from working with animals and in pesticide handling, timber operations, manure pits and storage bins. They also prohibit youths at grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feedlots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions.
Children under the age of 16 would be prohibited from operating most power-driven equipment as well as connecting or disconnecting an implement or any part of the machine. All youths would be prohibited from using electronic devices while operating equipment as well.
The proposed revisions do not apply to farm owners’ children, but they do apply to other young relatives.
These revisions mark the first time the Fair Labor Standards Act has been updated since 1970. The changes have been on the horizon for months and were announced in September. Their release came shortly after the agriculture community was deeply saddened by the loss of two girls in an irrigation accident in Illinois and the severe injury of two boys in Oklahoma from a grain auger accident.
In a statement regarding the proposed changes, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis said, "Children employed in agriculture are some of the most vulnerable workers in America. Ensuring their welfare is a priority of the department, and this proposal is another element of our comprehensive approach."
The safety of youth is of utmost importance, but the proposed changes will make it more difficult for young people to learn the ropes of production agriculture. They also hold implications for FFA members who use farm labor as part of their supervised agricultural experience.
Public comments are welcome until Nov. 1, 2011. To file electronically, visit www.regulations.gov. Mail comments to Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-3502, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210. Comments need to be identified as RIN 1235-AA06.
Corn College Events Coming to You
To help you take yields to the next level, Farm Journal announces its 2012 lineup for agronomic training. Kicking off the series will be Corn College for the South, followed by two Wheat College seminars. Our crew will then crisscross the Corn Belt and dip into Tennessee for five Planter Clinics. Mark the summer events on your calendar now as well: The week of July 16, we’ll host Corn College near Bloomington, Ill. The week of July 30, Soybean College and Corn College events will take place in Coldwater, Mich.
Check www.FarmJournalCornCollege.com for final dates, locations and registration details.