Rules seek to improve safety for child farmworkers

AP News
Posted: Aug 31, 2011 4:16 PM
Rules seek to improve safety for child farmworkers

The Labor Department is proposing new rules to improve the safety of children who work on farms.

The rules would ban children under 18 from working in or around grain elevators, feed lots and other areas deemed unsafe. The rules are a response to several recent grain elevator accidents in which children have died.

The plan would also prohibit farmworkers under 16 from operating most power-driven equipment.

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis says children working in agriculture are among the most vulnerable workers in the nation. Child labor regulations relating to agricultural have not been updated since they were written more than 40 years ago.

The proposed rules do not cover children on farms owned or operated by their parents. Comments to the proposal must be received by Nov. 1.