Monika Hartl
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Dept. of Labor Proposes Changes In Labor Laws For Farms

Proposed changes to federal laws governing what young teens are allowed to do on family farms have a lot of farmers up in arms and worried about how it may affect their business.

The proposed changes would limit what 14 and 15-year-olds who work on family farms may work on. The Department of Labor has proposed changes to the “hazardous occupations orders” along with a ban of any physical contact with any power-driver equipment (anything not operated with a hand or foot).

If the proposed changes are approved, kids younger than 16 may be prevented from doing such things like crawling up structures taller than six feet, assisting with vaccinating livestock, hearding animals into corrals and driving ATVs.

Some who are calling the proposed changes too limiting said that these type of bans would limit minors from unloading trucks or from operating flashlights.

According to the Department of Agriculture, in 2009 2,585 children suffered injuries, which is down 61 percent from 2001.

As the laws stand now, children who are 14 and 15 years old can work on farms and only have restrictions participating in hazardous jobs. Younger children may work on the same farm as their parents as long as they have obtained a written parental permission form.

If you or your loved one has been injured while working on a farm, you need an aggressive Wisconsin worker’s compensation attorney by your side helping you fight for a fair settlement. Contact us today for a free, initial consultation.

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