Power-Driven Hoisting Apparatus – FLSA Child Labor Laws

The Fair Labor Standards Act prohibits employers from employing any child under 18 years of age in occupations involved in the operation of power-driven hoisting apparatus because they have been deemed to be particularly hazardous for them or detrimental to their health of well-being. 29 CFR 570.58(a) Occupations involving the operation of power-driven hoisting apparatus include:

  • operating, tending, riding on, working from, repairing, servicing, or disassembling an elevator, crane, derrick, hoist, or high-lift truck
  • operating, tending, riding on, working from, repairing, servicing, or disassembling a manlift or freight elevator
  • assisting in hoisting tasks being performed by the equipment

29 CFR 570.58(a)


Youth 16 and 17 years old may ride on a freight elevator operated by an assigned operator and may operate or ride inside an unattended automatic operation passenger elevator. 29 CFR 570.58(a)

Additionally, youth 16 and 17 years old may operate an automatic elevator or automatic signal operation elevator if:

  • the exposed portion of the car interior (not including vents and other small openings), the car door, and the hoistway doors are constructed of solid surfaces with no opening through which a part of the body may extend;
  • all hoistway openings at floor level have doors which are interlaced with the car door to prevent the care from starting until all doors are closed and locked;
  • the elevator (other than hydraulic elevators) is equipped with a device that stops and holds the car in case of overspeed or if the cable slackens or breaks; and
  • the elevator is equipped with upper and lower travel limit devices that bring the car to rest at either terminal and a final limit switch which will prevent the movement in either direction and will open in case of excessive over travel by the car.

29 CFR 570.58(c)(1)

An automatic elevator includes a passenger elevator, a freight elevator, or a combination passenger-freight elevator, which is controlled by pushbuttons in such a manner that the starting, going to the landing selected, leveling and holding, and the opening and closing of the car and hoistway doors are entirely automatic. 29 CFR 570.58(c)(2)

An automatic signal operation elevator includes elevators that are started in response to the operation of a switch, a lever, or pushbutton in the car that when operated actuates a starting device that automatically closes the car and hoistway doors and controls the movement of the car to the landing selected, the leveling and holding of the car when it gets there, and the opening of the car and hoistway doors. 29 CFR 570.58(c)(3)


For purposes of this restriction on youth employment, a crane includes any power-driven machine for lifting and lowering a load and moving it horizontally, where the hoisting mechanise is an integral part of the machine, such as cantilever gantry, crawler, gantry, hammerhead, ingot pouring, jib, locomotive, motor-truck, overhead traveling, pillar jib, pintle, portal, semi-gantry, semi-portal, storage bridge, tower, walking jib, and wall cranes. 29 CFR 570.58(b)


For purposes of this restriction on youth employment, a derrick includes any power-driven apparatus with a mast or equivalent members held at the top by guys or braces, with or with a boom, for use with hoisting mechanism or operating ropes, such as A-frame, breast, Chicago boom, gin-pole, and stiff-leg derricks. 29 CFR 570.58(b)


For purposes of this restriction on youth employment, the term elevator mean any power-driven hoisting or lowering mechanism equipped with a car or platform that moves in guides in a substantially vertical direction, including both passenger and freight elevators, portable elevators, and tiering machines. It does not include dumbwaiters. 29 CFR 570.58(b)

High-lift truck (including fork lifts)

For purposes of this restriction on youth employment, a high lift truck means any power-driven industrial type truck used for lateral transportation that is equipped with a power-operated lifting device usually in the form of a fork or platform capable of tiering loaded pallets or skids one above the other. They typically have forks or a platform, but may also have a ram, scoop, shovel, crane, revolving fork, or other attachments for handling specific loads. High-lift trucks include, but are not limited to:

  • fork lifts
  • fork trucks
  • fork lift trucks
  • tiering trucks
  • backhoes
  • front-end loaders
  • skid loaders
  • skid-steer loaders
  • Bobcat loaders
  • stacking trucks

High-lift trucks do not include low-lift trucks or platform trucks designed for transporting but not tiering materials. 29 CFR 570.58(b)


For purposes of this restriction on youth employment, hoists are power-driven apparatus for raising and lowering loads by application of a pulling force that does not include a car or platform running in guides, including base mounted electric, clevis suspension, hook suspension, monorail, overhead electric, simple drum, and trolley suspension hoists. 29 CFR 570.58(b)


For purposes of this restriction on youth employment, a manlift is a device designed for conveying people that consists of platforms or brackets mounted on, or attached to, an endless belt, cable, chain, or similar suspension method. The belt, cable, or chain operating the device operate in a substantially vertical direction and are supported by an driven through pulleys, sheaves, or sprockets at the top and bottom. Manlifts include truck- or equipment-mounted aerial platforms commonly referred to as scissor lifts, boom-type mobile elevating work platforms, work assist vehicles, cherry pickers, basket hoists, and bucket trucks. 29 CFR 570.58(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.