Your helper better be old enough

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" The Department of Labor has proposed new rules that would restrict children under the age of 16 from working on a farm or ranch. The list of tasks youth would not be allowed to do is astonishing to me. For example, milking cows would not be allowed, and neither would building a fence. One item that stood out to me was that no youth under the age of 16 would be allowed to use a tool that was powered by any source other than hand or foot power. That would eliminate youth using flashlights, garden hoses (because hoses are powered by water) battery operated screwdrivers, etc. When hearing this, my son asked me if that meant he no longer had to brush his teeth since his toothbrush was battery operated. "
http://chrischinn.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/will-my-children-be-allowed-to-work-on-our-farm /
(How can you teach your children if you've forgotten how to use an old-fashioned hammer?)
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There was something about this, years ago. I remember seeing the video of the farmer, and his 11 year old son, the 11 was aparently very skilled at running a combine that did eight rows, or gosh knows what. I get visions of him texting the kids from the Pacman club, and the combine going left and right, as he lets go of the wheel.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
" The Department of Labor has proposed new rules that would restrict children under the age of 16 from working on a farm or ranch. The list of tasks youth would not be allowed to do is astonishing to me. For example, milking cows would not be allowed, and neither would building a fence. One item that stood out to me was that no youth under the age of 16 would be allowed to use a tool that was powered by any source other than hand or foot power. That would eliminate youth using flashlights, garden hoses (because hoses are powered by water) battery operated screwdrivers, etc. When hearing this, my son asked me if that meant he no longer had to brush his teeth since his toothbrush was battery operated. "
http://chrischinn.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/will-my-children-be-allowed-to-work-on-our-farm /
(How can you teach your children if you've forgotten how to use an old-fashioned hammer?)
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On 2/10/2012 1:41 PM, HeyBub wrote:

They have placed a rethink hold on this for the time being under duress by all the farm-related groups as well as farm-state Representatives and Senators.
The trial-balloon modifications are somewhat better but still are far to onerous if taken literally and would still eliminate virtually and chance for 4H animals for any kid who wasn't on their parents' own farm, for example (that is, about the only dispensations so far are family-farm related, not task-specific or recognizant of such things as city/town-living 4H members, etc.
It is, indeed, a very bad idea as drafted. Certainly farm safety is critical to all, but such heavy-handed rules are over the top invasive big-brotherism at it's finest....
--
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From this bunch? Who'da thunk? (Everybody'd thunk!)
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
critical to all, but such heavy-handed rules are over the top invasive big-brotherism at it's finest....
--


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If the 4H crowd wants to be exempted from the child labor laws, they should buy a Senator or two the old-fashioned way, like Hollywood did. (-: What could be more natural than a 10 year old kid supporting his family? Worked great for Michael Jackson.
It's important to remember that these are proposed laws, so each side tends to start out in extreme territory for negotiating purposes. In this case, they started out in such remote territory that the two sides never even met.
I can't help but think at least some of these proposed changes are driven by the ghosts of kids horribly killed in combine accidents, crushed by tractors, kicked in the head while milking cows, etc. Rulemaking like this often derives from analyzing the causes of death among children and looking for ways to reduce them. It's like the swimming pool fence laws that exist in most municipalities. Lots of kids drowned to get those laws put in place. Kids under sixteen can *seem* awfully mature until they get into a serious crisis. Childhood is short enough, why rush it so much?
It's a problem in Oz:
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/article/2011/04/14/319795_latest-news.html
<<Last year, 44 people died on farms, including seven children.Seven people were killed in tractor accidents, six in utilities, three in aeroplanes and three on quad bikes. Seven people drowned, including four children, one in a sheep or cattle dip.Another 68 people suffered serious injuries from on-farm accidents last year.>>
It's a problem in England:
http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/as10.pdf
and it's a problem here:
http://www.wwgh.com/search/webpages/facts/farm.htm
Farm-Related Injuries
a.. The primary causes of injuries among children on farms include tractors, farm machinery, livestock, drowning, transportation vehicles, fires, building structures and falls.Nearly 40 percent of farm deaths among children are due to machinery and another 23 percent are due to drowning. b.. Younger children, ages 6 and under, primarily suffer from injuries on the farm due to falls, large animals and close proximity to tractor incidents.These injuries may result from a lack of adequate parental supervision and physical barriers between young children and farm hazards. c.. Older children, ages 6 to 12, are more likely to suffer from mutilating farm equipment injuries that result from attempting age-inappropriate farm tasks. Kids under sixteen aren't able to evaluate the risk of operating heavy farm machinery. We don't let them drive cars until that age, with plenty of conditions. There's good historical reason for that. They're kids. Study after study shows they just don't develop real critical decision making capability until their very late teens and early twenties. They're like high-functioning closet alcoholics in a way. They can function pretty well in normal situations but they don't react well in a crisis.
When I was 14 or 15 I was operating belt-powered lathes, milling machines and shapers (descendants of the swinging log door batterer) but I had been given extensive safety training on their use. I don't think there are many schools in the nation, if any, that allow kids that young to operate such machinery anymore. As soon as I was able I got a work permit in NYC and worked part-time in a carton factory, on Wall St. and at a few other jobs, often operating heavy machinery. I also got kicked clear across a barn at that age because I carried a broom and walked too closely behind a horse that had been abused with a broom. Nobody told me "hey, stupid kid, that horse is skittish." I can't imagine that stable is run using informal, unpaid child labor anymore. (-: Things were different in the 60's.
Government has always had the right to act "in loco parentis" and decide which risks are appropriate for children to take and which constitute child abuse. Ever since I came across a UPI story about a blind man who drove around by holding his grandson on his lap to "point out the way" I've come to realize not all parents and grand-parents think responsibly and some adjustments have to be made for them.
-- Bobby G.
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On 2/10/2012 6:32 PM, Robert Green wrote:

They're not laws, they're rule-making by bureaucrats. ...

Not in a free society, not necessarily, no.
Nobody is arguing that it shouldn't be safe growing up and working on a farm. But it's a way of life, not just a job.
--
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Robert Green wrote:

It's NOT a problem when compared to the consequences of extreme meddling.
A deputy sheriff once told me "I never saw a kid get in trouble that owned an animal - a cow, a sheep, whatever. Oh, sure, some would get boozed up from time to time, but I never saw one pull a robbery or a burglary or anything serious. Having to watch after the animal taught responsibility."
So you save 100 children's lives a year with the new regulations and give birth to 10,000 felons. What a choice. Let me think...
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On 2/10/2012 11:38 PM, HeyBub wrote:

True dat but then they start having sex with farm animals.
http://www.thelocal.de/society/20120203-40531.html
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<stuff snipped>

Child labor laws aren't "extreme meddling" - they were a direct outgrowth of horrific accidents, dismemberments and deaths that were occurring to poorly trained young children operating heavy factory equipment for long hours and without breaks. Oddly enough, it's often the parents of kids that are killed or who are injured that become the strongest advocate for changing the system, as in Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Apparently he's never seen a kid crushed by an overturned tractor or kicked in the head and turned into a vegetable because the got too close to a large animal without the experience or training required to do it safely. I'm sorry HeyBub, but law/ruling making should not be done according to the principals of an apocryphal deputy sheriff you claimed to have once met.
What we're *actually* talking about is perhaps the last workplace in the US that allows young children to operate huge and dangerous farm machinery like 400hp combines, not whether they can own and care for a sheep or other farm animal. Nice attempt to distort and distract, though.
I'm all for kids learning to take care of animals. It's their operating dangerous and extremely powerful farm machinery not designed for sub-adult sized bodies that worries me. Based on the number of adults who get their children killed yearly on ATV's too large and powerful for them, there's clearly a lack of proper parental concern. That kind of bad behavior is what creates the laws and rules you seem to despise so much, not a bunch of "meddlers" with nothing better in the world to do. The state is forced to act "in loco parentis" (in place of the parents) when parents fail to ACT like parents. That's been going on for quite some time now here and across the globe.

Talk about setting up a straw man -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man
your last two lines should be used in the dictionary as a near perfect example of setting up a consequence that's not true in order to disprove a point that clearly IS true.
Did YOU care for a farm animal or drive a combine when your were a kid? Are YOU a felon? Neither are the millions upon millions of kids that didn't grow up on farms. Congratulations for creating a uniquely specious argument. We'll call it "HeyBub's 10,000 Felons for Want of a Cow" rule.
Next case.
-- Bobby G.
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On Sat, 11 Feb 2012 06:06:25 -0500, "Robert Green"

It was not that long ago even adults were subjected to that. Most of the laws were needed. Back then, unions wee also a good thing.

I don't think it is lack of concern as much as a lack of common sense. I have mixed feelings on this and won't decide a stand until I see the actual laws. There are some 10 year old farm kids that I'd trust with a machine over an allegedly mature adult. Some people have a natural ability to be able to run and control things, others never get it. To make a law with a hard and fast age cutoff is wrong.
You mention kids should not operate equipment that is not sized for them. Perhaps we should make minimum size requirements for anyone using power tools, machinery and driving. Get them short people off the road. Where do you stop.
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On 2/11/12 8:04 AM, Robert Green wrote:

Well, that kid is probably safer in the combine than running the auger wagon and doing the unloading. The wagon runner could be dumping into a pit or semi trailer. He could be running various augers, checking the bin, scooping or whatever. Some farmers' wives would run the combines while their husbands took care of the other stuff. Modern farm equipment is much safer than the older equipment. It has rollover protection, cabs, and a bunch of safety shields not found on the older stuff. Some problems arise when Farmer Brown takes the shields off for whatever reason, then doesn't replace them. One problem is the physical size of the equipment nowadays. It's a matter of being able to see to the sides or behind the equipment. Harvest is like a lot of other things in farming. There is a lot of work to do in a short amount of time. It's basically all hands on deck. Custom combine crews I've heard of usually do wheat harvest. They start in Texas then work their way north. I don't know of any doing corn or soybean harvest.

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On 2/12/12 10:53 AM, Robert Green wrote:

get hurt. A edge of a twelve row corn head will be at least 15 feet from the centerline of the combine. It's a huge jump from the two row combine I ran as a teenager. I don't know how much use mirrors and such are. The dirt from harvesting could easily make them unusable. I know of a farmer killed because he had a dummy attack around a combine. He tried to clear a clogged bean head using a screwdriver while it was running. His leg got caught and was badly damaged. He bled to death before he could drive far enough to get help. This was in the days before cell phones. Maybe no one could've gotten to him fast enough even today. The firefighers and rescue units are volunteer. It takes a little longer for help to show up. The GPS guidance is a great thing from what I've heard. The equipment can stay within a couple inches of a perfectly straight line. I don't know if there is a dead man's switch on any equipment. I've never thought to ask a farmer.
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I can imagine GPS is a wonder tool for farmers.
My guess, I'm doubting there is a deadman switch. Most farmers would tape it down, or bypass it. Though, I do know one farmer who has such a switch under the seat of his tractor. Another fellow was driving for the hayride, stood up to talk to someone behind him, and the engine quit.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
The GPS guidance is a great thing from what I've heard. The equipment can stay within a couple inches of a perfectly straight line. I don't know if there is a dead man's switch on any equipment. I've never thought to ask a farmer.
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Typically, engineers make things bigger and bigger for "efficiency's" sake until some practical limit is reached. Cars with V-16 engines and airplanes with wings (and multiple wings) full of engines come to mind:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/42/Caproni_Ca.60.jpg
http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/aircraft-pictures/Ekranoplanlarge.jpg

If my van is any example, there are mostly likely blind spots. More importantly, there may be just too much "real estate" to be able to pay attention of all of it. Loss protection specialists have found that employees that watch large banks of video monitors can really watch only 6 or 7 of them at a time and even then, they become visually fatigued after just an hour of watching.

I would imagine so. Sensory overload, too.

Ouch! It only takes one incident of fatal stupidity . . .

Cut your femoral artery and death comes in minutes without staunching the blood flow. Soldiers that die in IED explosions often die from the loss of blood. If the artery's too shredded to clamp off it's curtains. I believe that now all Marines are trained to use retractors and clamps for battlefield emergencies because a delay of just a few minutes is often fatal. It got so bad for the Marines in Iraq they ordered up armored underwear (no fooling!):
http://www.innovationnewsdaily.com/206-marine-corps-bulletproof-underwear.html
<<These ultra-tough BVDs would help protect soldiers and Marines from the low-angle explosions associated with landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Since the groin contains so many arteries - and since the need for mobility leaves the groin largely unprotected by traditional body armor - injuries to that area can quickly result in life-threatening blood loss or gruesome infections.>>

It could be a mixed blessing because it means that the operator doesn't have to pay as much attention as before.

With the prices they charge for some of the huge 500hp beasts, they should have IR detectors that disengage the throttle when a warm body is detected in the combine's path. Hell, my house PIR that turns on the yardlights can pick up cats and squirrels and cost $20. It would be interesting to catalog all the safety features that have appeared in the last 50 years. I'll bet almost every one of them was spurred by a death or maiming incident.
-- Bobby G.
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On Thu, 16 Feb 2012 08:13:50 -0500, Robert Green wrote:

I remember driving one of my uncles' combines aged about 13 (with him riding in the cab too) - that was a MF... google suggests it was likely an 860 with a 6-row head. Of course with all that metal behind the driver and the fact that they were rear-steer, they were quite interesting things to drive; rear visibility wasn't exactly the best! I seem to recall it being standard practice to always approach the combine from the front-left or front-right, i.e. out of the way of the cutting head but where the driver could easily see you.
No GPS or cell phones back then, of course, but I don't remember having radios either - not that it was possible to hear a damn thing in the cab anyway.
Hmm, fond memories of riding back to the stores in the full grain trailers, too - H+S probably doesn't allow that kind of thing these days :-)

Hard to do that and determine that it's a human being rather than all kinds of field critters trying to get out of the way, though.
I don't remember dead man switches on any of the farm equipment, only emergency stop switches - but maybe they have them these days.
The one that used to scare me was the potato riddler (possibly just a regional name for them?), for sorting out debris from the potatoes and knocking some of the dirt off - that was a huge clattering behemoth of a thing with open-chain drives, and workers would stick their hands into it to remove the bits that the machine had missed or to take out potatoes that were obviously no good before they made it onto the trailers.
cheers
Jules
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On 2/16/12 1:44 PM, Robert Green wrote:

Wheat is usually cut at about knee high or so. The grain is at the top of the plant. The actual ear of corn is about shoulder high or so depending on the variety and other factors. The corn heads strip the ear from the plant keeping most of the plant out of the combine. Critter pieces shouldn't be a problem for either. Soybeans are cut a couple inches off of the ground. I guess modern bean heads have automatic controls to tilt the head and raise or lower it as needed. There is an elevator nearby that processes food grade grain. I'm not sure what all is involved. I spend a lot of time in fields. It's very seldom that I surprise an animal. One time I was walking through a grass waterway and almost stepped on a skunk. One more step and life would've been most unpleasant. I doubt animals are too concerned about farm equipment. It travels in predictable lines and makes plenty of noise. Only the very young ones would be in trouble during field operations. Most farmers in my area are using some sort of conservation farming practice. They don't tear up the ground like they did when my Dad was farming.
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Robert Green wrote:

Ah, but what if your field is infested with corn-husker rodents or Wheat Thiner weasels?
Machine stops. You dismount and shoo off the rodent. Climb back aboard and restart. Travel ten feet, rinse and lather.
Maybe there could be an attachement, like a loud horn, to scare away the obstacle?
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A few, perhaps. It didn't take long for organized crime to take over unions (NOT a good thing).

I think it's wrong to meddle in the family. It's *certainly* wrong for the federal government to do it.

Que Randy Newman...
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It is interesting to note that constantly being mentioned as the cause of an accident is "lack of training" much more frequently than the fact that a child is DOING the task. The problem appears to be that with youth and inexperience one does not have the ability to 'self- train', concluding then that a child is incapable of safely performing a task. NOT!
Regarding safety education, I am very happy, and lucky, that my father ALWAYS told me to "picture what can go wrong" Example, starting with simple tasks like using an axe: miss your swing, hit your leg, position your limbs out of harm's way; or, grinding wheel: things fly off it.you can get 'grabbed, wedged, pinched' by it, loose things pulled into it, and worst, the wheel could shatter throwing pieces. Thus, I learned to NEVER stand in the plane of a turning wheel, keep my clothes away, and to make certain fingers can't get caught and wedged by a turning wheel. He taught me a very useful, transferrable form of safety education, useable everywhere. He never said, don't stand here, don't do such and such - a truly limited in value rote form of safety education. As a result of this education, and in spite of doing some of the most stupid activities - flame throwers, home- made gunpowder, zip guns, handgun silencers, etc, etc I still have all fingers and toes, and sight and hearing intact. Mental faculties are still being questioned by spouse.
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Exploding gun barrel, or backfire can happen to the best. One year in the Olympics the shooter's gun backfired and blinded him! Really a terrible accident. Wasn't covered much on the news, though.
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