Since many chores on the farm might be considered hazardous to some, but not to others, Hall and Daniels provide some guidance. The following can be accomplished by any child in a parental or guardian relationship with the farm operator, but non-related youth need to be a minimum of 16 to work at the following:
- Operating a tractor with more than 20 PTO horsepower, including hitching it to any equipment.
- Operating or assisting with combines and other powered equipment.
- Working in a pen or stall in which an animal might be agitated by anyone present
- Working with timber and logs of more than 6 inch diameter.
- Working from a ladder or scaffold either repairing/painting, or working with fruit trees.
- Driving a vehicle which carries co-workers.
- Working in an environment that is deficient in oxygen.
- Handling crop protection chemicals
- Handling explosives.
- Handling, transporting, or applying anhydrous ammonia.
Violations could be subject to both state and federal laws, should injuries or other tragedies occur, along with fines and confinement. To assure compliance, verify the age of the youngster and keep documentation. Know what tasks are considered to be hazardous. Remember that a child or grandchild can do certain chores that are unlawful for a nephew of the same age to perform. Review safety practices with youngsters.
Farms are great places for youth to learn about life, work ethic, and many other positive attributes of adulthood. However, current labor laws give different consideration of what tasks can be accomplished, depending on the age of the youngster and their relationship to the farm operator. There are a wide number of tasks on the farm that need to be accomplished and each will have a place on the hazardous list, which may or may not be performed by all youth.
Source: FarmGate blog