Power-Driven Metal Forming, Punching, and Shearing Machines – FLSA Child Labor Laws

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 occupations involved in the operation of power-driven metal forming, punching, and shearing machines because they have been deemed to be particularly hazardous for them or detrimental to their health of well-being. 29 CFR 570.59(a), (c) Occupations involving in the operation of power-driven metal forming, punching, and shearing machines include:

  • operator of or helper on the following power-driven metal forming, punching, and shearing machines:
    • rolling machines, such as beading, straightening, corrugating, flanging, or bending rolls
    • hot or cold rolling mills
    • pressing and punching machines, such as punch presses (except those with full automatic feed and ejection and with a fixed barrier guard to prevent hands or fingers from entering the area between the dies, power press, and plate punches)
    • bending machines, such as apron brakes and press brakes
    • hammering machines, such as drop hammers and power hammers
    • shearing machines, such as guillotine or squaring shears, alligator shears, and rotary shears
  • setting up, adjusting, repairing, oiling, or cleaning any of the machines listed above, including those with automatic feed and ejection

29 CFR 570.59(a)


An operator includes any person who operates any of the machines described above and performs such functions as starting and stopping the machine, placing materials into the machine, removing materials from the machine, or any other similar function directly related to the machine’s operation. 29 CFR 570.59(b)(1)


A helper includes any person who assists in placing materials into or removing them from any of the machines listed above. 29 CFR 570.59(b)(2)

Forming, punching, and shearing machines

Forming, punching, and shearing machines include power-driven metal-working machines, other than machine tools, that change the shape of or cut metal by means of tools, such as dies, rolls, or knives which are mounted on rams, plungers, or other moving parts. 29 CFR 570.59(b)(3)

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.