Cider Mill Cited Following Amputation of Underage Worker

Mayer's cider mill was charged with violations of federal child labor laws after an underage worker severed his arm while operating an auger.

Mayer's Cider Mill, Webster, N.Y., has been given a $51,450 civil penalty by the U.S. Labor Department for violations of federal child labor laws following the amputation of an underage worker.

A 12-year-old boy severed his arm below the elbow while operating an auger.

Following the accident, 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 company was cited for employing a child under the legal age for employment, and permitting a child under 18 years to operate a machine prohibited by a Hazardous Occupations Order.

Violations were also found involving six other minors employed at the mill.

The minors were 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.

The hours and time of day minors may work is also limited. Fourteen- and 15-year olds generally may not work during school hours, before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m., except during the summer.

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 manufacturing, mining and construction industries and from being employed in warehouses and workrooms.

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.

The program encompasses a strategy of enhanced enforcement, increased education and heightened public awareness.

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