Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Let Children Be Children

Child Labor Violation Leads to Death

Last October, there was a move in the U.S Congress to establish a religious exemption allowing Amish children to work in sawmills. "It would be OK," Amish leaders said, because the kids wouldn't actually be working with the saws themselves, just in the same vicinity.

Now comes this story from Washington state:
Pull A Part Auto wrecking yard in Lynnwood violated child labor laws by allowing a 16-year-old boy to work near a steel gantry crane that fell and killed him, according to the state Department of Labor and Industries.

Josh McMahon was too young to work near the 9-foot-tall crane, Labor and Industries reported last week. Investigators found that the business failed to ensure that McMahon and other young employees stayed away from the crane, which toppled on Aug. 13.

Labor and Industries ordered the business, owned by Ferrill's Auto Parts, to provide more training for teenage workers. The business was not fined, and no health or safety violations were issued.

"We believe it was just a horrible, tragic, isolated incident," Labor and Industries spokeswoman Elaine Fischer said.
Definitely horrible, definitely tragic, but these horrible tragedies will only remain isolated if people actually follow the law.