Paper-Product, Baler, and Compactor Machines – FLSA Child Labor Laws for 16 and 17 Year Olds


The Fair Labor Standards Act prohibits employers from employing any child under 18 years of age in the following occupations because they have been deemed to be particularly hazardous for them or detrimental to their health of well-being:

  • operating or assisting to operate any of the following power-driven paper product machines:
    • arm-type wire stitcher or stapler
    • circular or band saw
    • corner cutter or mitering machine
    • corrugating and single-or-double facing machine
    • envolope die-cutting press
    • guillotine paper cutter or shear
    • horizontal bar scorer
    • laminating or combining machine
    • sheeting machine
    • scrap paper baler
    • paper box compactor
    • vertical sloter
  • operating or assisting to operate any baler designed or used to process materials other than paper
  • operating or assisting to operate any compactor that is designed or used to process materials other than paper
  • setting up, adjusting, repairing, oiling, or cleaning any of the machines listed above

29 CFR 570.63(a)




Exceptions

These prohibitions on youth employment do not apply to 16 and 17 year olds who are employed in a qualified apprenticeship or student-learner program. 29 CFR 570.63(c)(2)

Youth who are 16 and 17 years old may load materials into, but not operate or unload, scrap paper balers and paper box compactors that cannot be operated while being loaded. 29 US Code 213(c)(5) A scrap paper baler or paper box compactor is considered to be safe for 16 and 17 year old if the following conditions are met:

  • the scrap paper baler or paper box compactor meets the applicable American National Standard Institute’s (ANSI) standard;
  • the scrap paper baler or paper box compactor includes an on-off switch incorporating a key-lock or other system and control of the system is maintained in the custody of an employee who is 18 years of age or older;
  • the on-off switch is maintained in an off position when the machine is not in operation; and
  • the employer posts a notice on the scrap paper baler or paper box compactor, in a prominent position that is easily visible to any person loading, operating, or unloading the machine) that includes and conveys all of the following information:
    • that the scrap paper baler or compactor meets the industry safety standard applicable to the machine, as specified below:
      • scrap paper balers
        • ANSI Standard Z245.5-1990
        • ANSI Standard Z245.5-1997
        • ANSI Standard Z245.5-2004
        • ANSI Standard Z245.5-2008
      • paper box compactors
        • ANSI Standard Z245.2-1992
        • ANSI Standard Z245.2-1997
        • ANSI Standard Z245.2-2004
        • ANSI Standard Z245.2-2008
    • that 16 and 17 year old employees may only load the scrap paper baler or paper box compactor
    • that no employee under the age of 18 may operate or unload the scrap paper baler or paper box compactor

29 US Code 213(c)(5); 29 CFR 570.63(c)(1); 29 CFR 570.128



Baler designed or used to process materials other than paper

A baler designed or used to process materials other than paper includes a powered machine designed or used to compress materials other than paper and cardboard boxes, with or without binding, to a density or form that will support handing and transportation as a material unit without requiring a disposable or reusable container. 29 CFR 570.63(b)



Compactor designed or used to process materials other than paper

A compactor designed or used to process materials other than paper means a powered machine that remains stationary during operation used to compact refuse other than paper or cardboard boxes into a detachable or integral container or into a transfer vehicle. 29 CFR 570.63(b)



Operating or assisting to operate

An individual is engaged in operating or assisting to operate when performing work that involves starting or stopping machines, placing materials into or removing materials from machines, clearing machines of jammed material, paper, or cardboard, or any other work directly involved in operating the machine (it does not include stacking materials in an area nearby or adjacent to a machine so long as the minor does not place the materials into the machine). 29 CFR 570.63(b)



Paper box compactor

A paper box compactor is a power machine that remains stationary during operation used to compact refuse, including paper boxes, into a detachable or integral container or into a transfer vehicle. 29 CFR 570.63(b)



Paper products machine

Paper products machines include:

  • all power-drive machines used in remanufacturing or converting paper or pulp into a finished product, including preparing such materials for recycling, or preparing such materials for disposal
  • machines whether they are used in establishments that manufacture converted paper or pulp products, or in any other type of manufacturing or nonmanufacturing establishment
  • machines which process other material for disposal, in addition to paper products

29 CFR 570.63(b)



Scrap paper baler

A scrap paper baler is a powered machine used to compress paper and possibly other solid waste, with or without binding, to a density or form that will support handling and transportation as a material unit without requiring a disposable or reusable container.
29 CFR 570.63(b)



Applicable ANSI Standard

Applicable ANSI Standard means:

  • the American National Standard Institute’s Standard ANSI Z245.5-1990 American National Standard for Refuse Collection, Processing, and Disposal—Baling Equipment—Safety Requirements (ANSI S245.5-1990) for scrap paper balers or the American National Standard Institute’s Standard ANSI Z245.2-1992 American National Standard for Refuse Collection, Processing, and Disposal Equipment—Stationary Compactors—Safety Requirements (ANSI Z245.2-1992) for paper box compactors
  • the American National Standard Institute’s Standard ANSI Z245.5-1997 American National Standard for Equipment Technology and Operations for Wastes and Recyclable Materials—Baling Equipment—Safety Requirements (ANSI Z245.5-1997)
  • the American National Standard Institute’s Standard ANSI Z245.5-2004 American National Standard for Equipment Technology and Operations for Wastes and Recyclable Materials—Baling Equipment—Safety Requirements for Installation, Maintenance and Operation (ANSI Z245.5-2004)
  • the American National Standard Institute’s Standard ANSI Z245.5-2008 American National Standard for Equipment Technology and Operations for Wastes and Recyclable Materials—Baling Equipment—Safety Requirements (ANSI Z245.5-2008) for scrap paper balers or the American National Standard Institute’s Standard ANSI Z245.2-1997 American National Standard for Equipment Technology and Operations for Wastes and Recyclable Materials—Stationary Compactors—Safety Requirements (ANSI Z245.2-1997)
  • the American National Standard Institute’s Standard ANSI Z245.2-2004 American National Standard for Equipment Technology and Operations for Wastes and Recyclable Materials—Stationary Compactors—Safety Requirements for Installation, Maintenance and Operation (ANSI Z245.2-2004)
  • the American National Standard Institute’s Standard ANSI Z245.2-2008 American National Standard for Equipment Technology and Operations for Wastes and Recyclable Materials—Stationary Compactors—Safety Requirements for Installation, Maintenance and Operation (ANSI Z245.2-2008) for paper box compactors, which the Secretary has certified to be at least as protective of the safety of minors as Standard ANSI Z245.5-1990 for scrap paper balers or Standard ANSI Z245.2-1992 for paper box compactors

29 CFR 570.63(b)



Age certification

Employers who employ minors are not in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s child labor laws if they keep on file unexpired certificates of age for each minor employed which shows the minor is the appropriate age for the work being performed, even if the child turns out not to be the appropriate age. 29 US Code 203(l)(2); 29 CFR 570.5(a); 29 CFR 570.38; 29 CFR 570.121 For more information, visit our page on Age Certificates.