Growing danger

Last July, two 14-year-old girls from Sterling in northwestern Illinois died of electrocution when they came into contact with irrigation equipment that had been damaged by lightning. Jade Garza and Hannah Kendall were best friends engaged in the seasonal ritual of detassling corn for seed production.

Shortly after the girls’ deaths, the Labor Department proposed sweeping new rules to protect youngsters at work on farms. There were some good measures, such as stronger restrictions on who can drive heavy equipment.

But the rules also overreached, trying to anticipate every contingency: No passengers riding on a combine when it crosses the street, no “assisting” with milking equipment, no “oiling or cleaning” power-driven implements, no entering a pen with a male pig unless it is castrated…Keep reading

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