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June 1990

Machines and Microbes: Still Serious Hazards to Youths on the Farm

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pediatrics (Drs Rhodes and Brennan) and Orthopedics (Dr Peterson), Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minn.

Am J Dis Child. 1990;144(6):707-709. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1990.02150300105026

Agriculture is the only industry in the nation in which children are allowed to work and play around dangerous machinery. In most nonagricultural industrial situations, great advances have been made in eliminating or decreasing occupational hazards largely through agencies, employees, or unions. Such regulatory mechanisms are not in operation for the farmer, however, and farms with fewer than 11 nonfamily employees are still not within the jurisdiction of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.1 Furthermore, the prohibition of activities around farm machinery declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor for minors younger than 16 years does not apply to youths on farms operated "by their parents or by persons standing in the place of their parents on farms owned or operated by such parents or persons."2

In a recent comprehensive review of all injury death certificates for children aged 0 to 9 years in two states with large

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