quences of long hours of work are equally serious for youngsters working in agriculture as for those working in other industries.
Recommendation: The current distinction in federal child labor restrictions on the total maximum weekly hours youngsters are allowed to work in agricultural and nonagricultural industries should be eliminated in favor of the more stringent nonagricultural restrictions.
Many existing hazardous orders, which restrict the types of jobs those under 18 (under 16 in agriculture) may perform, refer to machinery and processes that are no longer used, and they fail to address the full range of health and safety hazards and technologies in the contemporary workplaces in which youngsters are now employed. None of the current hazardous orders takes into account the special risks to young workers caused by exposure to carcinogens, biohazards, reproductive toxins, and ergonomic hazards, the health effects of which may not be evident until adulthood.
Changes in hazardous orders should be based on research and data on jobs that pose hazards to children and adolescents. NIOSH performs and reviews this research and is in a position to evaluate hazardous occupations for young people, although it may need additional resources to perform thorough evaluations. The institute has already made a number of research-based recommendations about needed changes in hazardous orders in its 1994 comments to the Department of Labor. The reviews and updates should be performed on a periodic basis to ensure that the hazardous orders remain up to date.
Recommendation: The Department of Labor should undertake periodic reviews of its hazardous orders in order to eliminate outdated orders, strengthen inadequate orders, and develop additional orders to address new and emerging technologies and working conditions. Changes to the hazardous orders should be based on periodic reviews by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of current workplace hazards and the adequacy of existing hazardous orders to address them.