There are strict federal and state laws that govern the employment of children under the age of 18. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, certain specified job activities may not be performed by workers under the age of 18. These include the operation of certain specified machines and equipment in a non-agricultural setting. In violation of these laws, a 14-year-old Ohio boy suffered a gruesome amputation injury in March of this year.

Reportedly, the teenager was employed by a manufacturer of pallets. He was apparently operating a wood planing machine when something went wrong, and his hand was cut off. Allowing him to operate the wood planer was a direct violation of federal law that prohibits employers from allowing workers under the age of 18 to operate hoisting equipment or woodworking machines that are power-driven.

During a subsequent investigation into this workplace accident, investigators determined that the employer was also violating other child labor laws. The same boy who lost his hand and a 16-year-old worker were reportedly allowed to operate a forklift at the workplace. The owner of the Middlefield company was recently fined close to $40,000 for illegal employment practices related to the injuries suffered by the 14-year-old.

This Ohio teenager will forever suffer the consequences of the amputation injury he suffered. Financial relief may be provided through the workers’ compensation insurance program. Underage workers, just like adults, must be covered by the company’s insurance. Workers who have suffered amputation injuries may benefit from retaining the services of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can fight to achieve the maximum level of compensation for the permanent disability suffered.

Source: news-herald.com, “Middlefield company fined after underage worker loses hand“, Matt Skrajner, Nov. 24, 2015