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House Democrats Question Proposal to Let Teens Take Hazardous Jobs

August 9, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

WASHINGTON—Trump administration proposals to revamp regulations in order to let more 16- and 17-year-olds perform hazardous jobs has piqued the ire of 47 House Democrats. The Department of Labor has announced plans to revise “hazardous occupations orders” that prohibit workers under 18 from working in roofing or operating chainsaws, except for apprentices under close supervision of a journeyman. The department said in July that it wants to look at whether those rules “should be updated to reflect the current economic and work environments” and expand job training. “Weakening protections for young workers could reverse the progress of lowering fatalities among young workers and further jeopardize their health and safety,” the 47 said in an Aug. 1 letter to Secretary of Labor R. Alexander Acosta and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. The signers include Reps. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), ranking member of the Education and the Workforce Committee and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), ranking member on its labor and health subcommittee. They are demanding whether the department has had the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health do a scientific review of the proposed changes, or if it plans to fund one. Read more

August 9, 2018

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