Ohio company fined after teen loses hand while illegally operating machinery

Ohio company fined after teen loses hand while illegally operating machinery

MIDDLEFIELD, OH (WOIO) - A Middlefield pallet maker has been fined for illegally employing a 14-year-old to operate machinery that resulted in him losing his hand.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division slapped Shady Knob Pallet Co. nearly $40,000 in penalties for violating child labor laws.

On March 25, 2015, the wood planer cut off the minor's right hand. In its inspection, the division also found the injured worker and another minor, 16, were illegally operating a forklift at the facility, another violation.

Under federal law, workers under age 18 may not operate power-driven woodworking machinery or hoisting equipment.

"No amount of money will replace this child's hand, or compensate for how this will affect him the rest of his life," said George Victory, district director for the Wage and Hour Division in Columbus. We hope that this case serves as a wake-up call to other employers and ensures compliance with critical workplace protections."

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