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Region 2 News Release: NY 106
January 28, 2000
Contact: Chester J. Fultz
TWELVE-YEAR-OLD'S ARM SEVERED IN WEBSTER, NEW YORK CIDER MILL ACCIDENT;
FEDERAL CHILD LABOR AND OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY PENALTIES TOTAL $52,500
A Webster, New York, cider mill has been assessed a $51,450 civil penalty by the U.S. Labor Department for violations of federal child labor laws following an accident in which an underage worker suffered an amputation.
In the incident at Mayer's Cider Mill, located at 699 Five Mile Line Road, Webster, New York, a 12-year-old boy severed his arm below the elbow while operating an auger. The youth's limb was successfully reattached at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.
According to Michael Fitzgerald, assistant district director of the Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division, the firm was cited for employing a child under the legal age for employment, for permitting a child under 18 years to operate a machine prohibited by a Hazardous Occupations Order, and for permitting a child to work in a warehouse, a prohibited area.
Violations were also found involving six other minors employed at the mill. Those violations included being under-age for employment, working excessive hours, performing prohibited occupations, and working in a prohibited area. The minors were also found to be working "off the books" in violation of record-keeping requirements.
Under the federal child labor provisions established by the Fair Labor Standards Act, 14 is the minimum age for most non-farm work. Fourteen- and-15-year-olds generally may not work during school hours, before 7:00 a.m. or after 7:00 p.m., except between June 1 and Labor Day when they may work until 9:00 p.m. Also, they may not work more than three hours on a school day and 18 hours during a school week. They may work up to eight hours on a non-school day and 40 hours during non-school weeks.
In addition to limiting the hours and time of day minors may work, child labor regulations specify prohibited children under 16 years of age from working in the manufacturing, mining, and construction industries and from being employed in warehouses and workrooms. The regulations also establish 17 Hazardous Occupations Orders which detail occupations that are particularly dangerous for young workers and therefore prohibited to anyone under 18 years of age.
Last summer Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman launched the department's Safe Work/Safe Kids initiative to help ensure teens have safe and positive work experiences. Safe Work/Safe Kids embraces a strategy of enhanced enforcement, increased education, strong partnerships, and heightened public awareness.
The investigation of the firm was conducted by the Wage and Hour Division's Buffalo Area Office, located at the Federal Building, Room 1512, 111 West Huron Street, Buffalo, New York, telephone (716) 551-4891.
The department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration also cited the firm for failing to properly guard the auger, an alleged serious violation carrying a $1,050 penalty.
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