Should children work?

An interesting story.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/12/03/2761400.htm?section=justin

Quarry owner Dirk Karreman is appealing against a directive from a mining inspector that bans his grandson from using equipment at the Redlands operations on Brisbane’s bayside.

Lawyers for Mr Karreman told the court nine-year-old Dane Karreman operated the loader efficiently and safely, that he had done so on weekends and had more than 500 hours of experience.

Lawyers for the State Government say it is an unnecessary risk.

My father had me and my siblings working on construction sites from about that age. I think it was good for us. On the farm we were driving tractors at quite a young age also. Risky perhaps but better than sitting on your hands.

10 thoughts on “Should children work?

  1. This story isn’t really about Children working but more about children on a dangerous work site. There’s a difference between getting a kid to help you do your tax return and getting him to drive a bulldozer in an open quarry.

    Not saying I disagree with it, I was operating machinery before my teens as well and I was fine, but there’s more being asked here than “Should Children Work?”

  2. Another ‘for the children!’ argument! We should outlaw that!
    I remember when teenagers were banned from modelling because the government wanted to decide what they could earn, and under what conditions.
    If this were to be taken to its’ logical extreme, then we should also ban people who look like kids. Pia Miranda, the beautiful actress from ‘Garage Days, and ‘Looking for Mr. alibrandi’, would be out of work permanently.
    It is true that Children should be as safe as we can make them, but we should also save them from government mollycoddling! This kid wants to work, and his father is happy for him to do so. It’s not child slavery!

  3. My dad took me into work with him sometimes at the bank as well. Given, pretty much all I did was muck around with his calculator and type naughty words into a word processor, but he always said I was helping him

  4. My daughter was with me at work today. She helped me draw a green bear. I think it was a great achievement.

  5. Yep… my winter school holiday’s from about grade 4 to grade 8 were spent cutting cane with my old man. Then building stockyards and houses,amongst other things. Now.. what about football, cricket, nippers? Personally I think the kid has less chance of injury in the machine.

  6. I beg to differ Michael.

    Machinery is responsible for more workplace deaths than anything else. Farm machinery especially.

    http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Farming_is_a_dangerous_job

    * Dairy industry at least 25 deaths have occurred in the dairy industry since 1985. More than half of the deaths were caused by tractors. Other serious accidents included falls from motorcycles and getting caught by power take-off shafts.
    * Grain industry at least 10 deaths have occurred in the grain industry since 1985. Half of these deaths were caused by tractors. Other causes included crush injuries and accidents with machinery such as chaff cutters and fertiliser spreaders. Grain augers and hay balers caused many serious injuries.
    * Pastoral industry 38 deaths have occurred in the pastoral industry since 1985. More than half of these deaths were caused by machinery such as tractors.

    Children who live on farms are at greater risk of injury and death than their parents or other farm workers. In fact, the under-15 age group is one of the most represented in work related farm accidents in Victoria. They account for one in seven farm fatalities. The main risk factors are inexperience with equipment and trying to perform a task that is beyond their abilities.

    In comparison to Australian rules football, the VFL records only 5 deaths since 1995, 3 of which were due to heart failure and 2 due to trauma. None involved children.

    Deaths in cricket are equally rare, and also usually due to pre-existing medical conditions.

    The most dangerous sports: (http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,25853448-5005399,00.html)

    Cycling recorded the most deaths with 43, followed by fishing (35), swimming (32), off-road motor sport (23), power boating/water skiing (7), horse riding (4) and ice/snow sports (2).

  7. I’m pretty disappointed you would frame it in such terms. I don’t see myself calling for any bans of anything here. The question is: Should you get your children to work on machinery? The answer is: If you value their safety – no.

  8. You know what else is irresponsible? Buying your kids a paddock basher. I’m surprised my mates and didn’t plow ourselves into a tree <_< No one questions the safety part of it, the question is whether it is government's responsibility to step in.

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