Learn more about our policy experts.

Media Contacts

Angela Bradbery, Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7741
c. (202) 503-6768
abradbery@citizen.org, Twitter

Barbara Holzer, Broadcast Manager
w. (202) 588-7716
bholzer@citizen.org

Karilyn Gower, Press Officer
w. (202) 588-7779
kgower@citizen.org

Ben Somberg, Press Officer (regulatory matters)
w. (202) 588-7742
bsomberg@citizen.org, Twitter

Other Important Links

Press Release Database
Citizen Vox blog
Texas Vox blog
Consumer Law and Policy blog
Energy Vox blog
Eyes on Trade blog
Facebook/publiccitizen

Follow us on Twitter

 

Aug. 12, 2011

Teen Agricultural Workers Killed, Maimed While Administration Delays Proposed Remedy

Despite Numerous Teen Farm Accidents, Child Labor Regulation Stalls

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A spate of farm accidents over the past three weeks has left two teens dead and three more in critical condition.  Agriculture is one of the most dangerous sectors for workers in the U.S., and it is especially hazardous for youths. Young people employed in agricultural work suffer fatalities at rates six times higher than their counterparts in other industries.  A Department of Labor proposal to restrict minors from hazardous agricultural jobs would have likely prevented these tragedies.  But the administration – which received the proposal nine months ago – has delayed its consideration indefinitely.

On August 8, two 17-year-old boys in Oklahoma were hospitalized and in critical condition after their legs were crushed in a grain elevator.  The event follows the electrocution of four 14-year old girls on a corn farm in Illinois. Two of the girls died and one is in critical condition.

“Shockingly, it’s currently legal for children as young as 12 to have their lives put in danger by working in agriculture,” said Justin Feldman, worker health and safety advocate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “Although regulations restrict these children from certain hazardous jobs, the rules on the books now are antiquated and grossly inadequate.”

The Department of Labor proposal, which has yet to be made public, would further protect minors by restricting employment in a greater number of dangerous agricultural occupations. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) received the proposal for review in November, 2010. OMB must grant approval before the rulemaking process can continue.

 “Children are dying on the job, and the administration has done nothing but stall,” added Feldman. “The White House should fast track the child labor proposal.”

###

Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization based in

Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.citizen.org.

Copyright © 2014 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.


Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation

 

Together, two separate corporate entities called Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation, Inc., form Public Citizen. Both entities are part of the same overall organization, and this Web site refers to the two organizations collectively as Public Citizen.

Although the work of the two components overlaps, some activities are done by one component and not the other. The primary distinction is with respect to lobbying activity. Public Citizen, Inc., an IRS § 501(c)(4) entity, lobbies Congress to advance Public Citizen’s mission of protecting public health and safety, advancing government transparency, and urging corporate accountability. Public Citizen Foundation, however, is an IRS § 501(c)(3) organization. Accordingly, its ability to engage in lobbying is limited by federal law, but it may receive donations that are tax-deductible by the contributor. Public Citizen Inc. does most of the lobbying activity discussed on the Public Citizen Web site. Public Citizen Foundation performs most of the litigation and education activities discussed on the Web site.

You may make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., Public Citizen Foundation, or both. Contributions to both organizations are used to support our public interest work. However, each Public Citizen component will use only the funds contributed directly to it to carry out the activities it conducts as part of Public Citizen’s mission. Only gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Individuals who want to join Public Citizen should make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., which will not be tax deductible.

 

To become a member of Public Citizen, click here.
To become a member and make an additional tax-deductible donation to Public Citizen Foundation, click here.