Power-Driven Wood-Working Machines – FLSA Child Labor Laws for 16 and 17 Year Olds

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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 wood-working machines because they have been deemed to be particularly hazardous for them or detrimental to their health of well-being. 29 CFR 570.55(a), (c) Occupations that involve the operation of power-driven wood-working machines include:

  • supervising or controlling the operation of a power-driven wood-working machines
  • feeding or helping an operator feed material into power-driven wood-working machines (does not include placing material on a moving chain or in a hopper or slide for automatic feeding)
  • setting up, adjusting, repairing, oiling, or cleaning power-driven wood-working machines
  • off-bearing from circular saws and from guillotine-action veneer clippers

29 CFR 570.55(a)

Power-driven wood-working machines

Power-driven wood-working machines include all fixed or portable machines or tools driven by power and used for cutting, shaping, forming, surfacing, nailing, stapling, wire stitching, fastening or otherwise assembling, pressing, or printing wood, veneer, tress, logs, or lumber.
29 CFR 570.55(b)


Off-bearing means removing material or refuse directly from a saw table or from the point of operation. For purpose of this restriction on youth labor, the following jobs are not considered to be off-bearing:

  • removing material from a circular saw or guillotine-action veneer clip where the material or refuse has been moved away from the saw table or point of operation by a gravity chute or by some mechanical means
  • any of the following if the material is not removed directly from the saw table or point of operation:
    • carrying, moving, or transporting materials from one machine to another or from one part of the place to another
    • piling, stacking, or arranging materials for feeding in a machine by another person
    • sorting, tying, bundling, or loading materials

29 CFR 570.55(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.

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