Missouri Department of Labor offers assistance for businesses to reopen safely and reminds employers about child labor law requirements

As Missouri begins to re-open the state under the Show Me Strong Recovery Plan set out by Governor Michael Parson, the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations' (DOLIR’s) Division of Labor Standards (DLS) announces assistance for businesses to do so safely.


The DLS’s On-Site Health and Safety Consultation program can help alleviate concerns about workplace safety, especially at this time. The program is a free service and the consultation can even be done virtually. The OSHA-trained On-Site consultants will help businesses to identify and correct site-specific safety and health hazards, including those relating to prevention of the spread of the coronavirus, without assessing any fines or penalties. On-Site consultants provide an OSHA-type “mock” inspection at the workplace or virtually; employers set the scope of the visit, so that the consultation can include the entire workplace or it can be limited to a specific area within the workplace. An employer’s only obligation is to correct any hazards identified by the consultant. During the walk through or virtual walk through, the On-Site consultant will identify and discuss any potential hazards and suggest the best and most cost-effective solutions. For more information and to sign up, visit labor.mo.gov/onsite.
To assist parents, school officials and employers of youth during this time, the DLS also provides a tip sheet for keeping young workers safe at work. The tip sheet is available at labor.mo.gov/DLS/YouthEmployment/youth_safety.
Additionally, the DLS would like to remind businesses that while school buildings may be closed, school is still in session and Missouri’s statutory regulations regarding youth employment are still in effect including acceptable work and hours for youth as well as work permit requirements.
    •    Minors are not permitted to work for more than three hours on any school day from Labor Day (September 2nd, 2019) thru June 1st (2020). The DLS utilizes the calendar and school term established prior to the COVID-19 pandemic by the school district in which the child resides, to determine the days and hours in which school is considered to be in session. Virtual or remote education is still considered a school day, and work hours during school days are limited between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
    •    While construction is an essential industry to Missouri, many occupations on a construction site are hazardous to the safety and health of youth employees under the age of 16. Handling or maintaining power equipment; operating hazardous equipment such as ladders, scaffolding, hoists, man lifts, etc; or any job dangerous to the life, limb, health, or morals of youth is prohibited under Missouri statutes for children under 16.
    •    A child under 16 years of age shall not be employed unless a work certificate has been issued. For more information, visit Labor.mo.gov/DLS/YouthEmployment/work_cert_permit#workcert
    •    Completed copies of work certificates with all appropriate signatures should be kept on file at (1) the physical location of the business employing the child, (2) the school district and (3) the Division of Labor Standards. For questions, email the DLS at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Note: During school building closures, individuals may need to leave voice messages for the school district central office or principal requesting direction on how the school processes work certificates. A legible copy of work certificates filled out by the guardian and employer can be emailed to the district office. To find school district contacts, visit dese.mo.gov/school-directory. Scanned reproductions of work certificates saved as an attachment can be emailed to DLS. However, smartphone photos are not acceptable.      
For more information on Missouri’s child labor laws, visit labor.mo.gov/youth-employment.
To better understand why, when and how workplace injuries and fatalities occur in Missouri, visit labor.mo.gov/safe-at-work. This site includes Missouri-specific industry data and statistics, safety videos, Toolbox Talks and more.

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