School's out and kids are looking for jobs. Based on the number of questions coming to our office, we know that many young people are looking for and getting jobs on farms. Farmers who hire someone under the age of 16 to operate a tractor or perform a wide variety of other farm jobs could be breaking the law. Code of Federal Regulation #29, Subpart E-1, prohibits hiring children under age 16 to do such tasks unless they are at least 14 and have completed a certification course covering safe op ration of agricultural equipment. The following discussion applies only to agricultural workers in Minnesota; Wisconsin's regulations are slightly different.
We get a number of questions about what youth working on the farm can and cannot do. The regulations can be confusing. Following are the most commonly asked questions:
My 12 year old child is working for me on my farm. What is it legal for the child to do and what can't the child do?
Legally, there are no requirements in Minnesota for your own children working on your farm. This includes work in the field and operating machinery on the highway. However, parents need to carefully consider the appropriateness of children operating tractors and machinery. Our injury investigations show that a major cause of farm injuries to children is performance of tasks beyond their developmental ability. For more information, contact your Minnesota county extension office and ask for Fold r 6068, Is Your Child Protected from Injury on the Farm?
I'm considering hiring a teenager to work on my farm. What do I need to know?
There are a series of operations in agriculture that have been specified by the Federal government as being particularly hazardous for children below the age of 16. These include:
What are my responsibilities if I hire a kid to work on my farm?
Employment and payment of minors working on the farm is very complex. If you would like to see the Code of Federal Regulation #29, Subpart E-1, check with your local reference librarian. Better yet, find it and other safety and health links on our World Wide Web page at:
Schermann, Assistant Scientist.
John Shutske, Minnesota Farm Safety and Health Specialist
Last updated July 16, 1996 by email@example.com
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