OSHA Proposes Hefty Fine in Wake of 16-Year-Old's Death at Florence Hardwoods Mill

Check out this story about a recent Wisconsin story surrounding child labor law violations...

Investigators for OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) have recommended a fine of over $1.4 million for numerous safety violations related to the death of a 16-year-old boy after a Florence Hardwoods Mill accident in June.

A fine would be on top of a consent decree payment of $190,696 to be paid by Florence Hardwoods for child labor law violations assessed by the U.S. Department of Labor. The decree also required that the mill agree to stop hiring children under 16.

On June 29, 2023, a 16-year-old worker became trapped in a stick stacker machine as he tried to unjam it. The young worker remained trapped until he was found and freed, and then transported to the hospital where he passed away two days later, according to OSHA’s reporting of the accident.

"There is no excuse for allowing underage workers to operate this type of machinery," said Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor Julie Su. "Federal child labor and safety regulations exist to prevent employers from putting children at risk. They also exist to hold employers like Florence Hardwoods accountable for endangering these young workers."

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