Power-Driven Saws and Shears – 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, except those employed in a qualified apprenticeship or student-learner program, in the following occupations because they have been deemed to be particularly hazardous for them or detrimental to their health of well-being:

  • operator of or helper on the following power-driven fixed or portable machines (unless they are equipped with a fully automatic feed and ejection system):
    • circular saws
    • band saws
    • guillotine shears
  • operator or helper on the following power-driven fixed or portable machines:
    • chain saws
    • reciprocating saws
    • wood chippers
    • abrasive cutting discs
  • setting-up, adjusting,repairing, oiling, or cleaning any of the machines listed above

29 CFR 570.65(a), (c)




Abrasive cutting disc

An abrasive cutting disc is a machine equipped with a disc embedded with abrasive materials used for cutting materials. 29 CFR 570.65(b)



Band saw

A band saw is a machine equipped with an endless steal band running over wheels or pulleys. The steel bank has a continuous series of notches or teeth and is used for sawing materials. 29 CFR 570.65(b)



Chain saw

A chain saw is a machine that has teeth linked together to form an endless chain used for cutting materials. 29 CFR 570.65(b)



Circular saw

A circular saw is a machine equipped with a thin steel disc mounted on shafting. The thin steel disc has a series of notches or teeth on its edge and is used to saw materials. 29 CFR 570.65(b)



Guillotine shears

Guillotine shears are machines equipped with a movable blade that is operated vertically and used to shear material. Alligator shears, circular shears, or other types of shearing machines that rely on a different type of shearing action do not fall within the category of guillotine shears for purpose of this prohibition on youth employment. 29 CFR 570.65(b)



Helper

A helper is an individual who assists in operating the machines listed above by helping place the materials into or removing them from the machine. 29 CFR 570.65(b)



Operator

An operator is an individual who operates a machine listed above by starting or stopping the machine, placing the materials into or removing them from the machine, or any other functions directly involved in operating the machine. 29 CFR 570.65(b)



Reciprocating saw

A reciprocating saw is a machine with a moving blade that alternately changes direction on a linear cutting axis used for sawing materials. 29 CFR 570.65(b)



Wood chipper

A wood chipper is a machine with a feed mechanism, knives mounted on a rotating chipper disc or drum, and a power plant used to reduce to chips or shred materials such as tree branches, trunk segments, landscape waste, and other materials. 29 CFR 570.65(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.