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LETTERS.

Pinnacle Coverage Kudos

DEAR EDITOR,

Thank you and writer Hannah Miller for the excellent coverage of the American Society of Furniture Designers' 1999 Pinnacle Awards in Wood & Wood Products' February 2000 issue. This includes your cover featuring John Kelly Design, the Formal Dining Room winner, and the in-depth story and pictures on pages 29-34.

On behalf of the ASFD board, we appreciate your continued enthusiasm and support of the annual Pinnacle Awards.

Sincerely,

Christine Evans

Executive Director, ASFD

High Point, NC

Veneer Core Alternative

DEAR EDITOR:

I read with interest the article about combination plywood in your ("From the Archives" -- 20 Years Ago) October 1999 issue.

About 8 or 9 years ago our company developed a product that fits into the combination category and uses all of the tree. All of this 5-ply panel is aspen poplar except the face and back veneer. The trunk or straightest part of the aspen tree is peeled for crossbands. The balance of the tree is waferized for the the core.

I found it interesting that something that was thought of 20 years ago is now a reality and is being produced on a daily basis.

Sincerely,

Don McTavish

Longlac Wood Industries Inc.

Mississauga, ONT

Child Labor Law 'Inequitable'

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

Leonard Peterson & Co. Inc. specializes in the design and manufacture of wood laboratory furniture for schools and research institutions. We have always offered training and education to our employees but labor conditions make it necessary to intensify these efforts. We are particularly interested in apprenticeship training certified through the U.S. Department of Labor.

Part of our initiative involves offering apprenticeships to 16- and 17-year-olds in cooperation with Alabama's educational system. It is in regard to those 16- and 17-year-old potential apprentices that we write. Specifically, we have learned of some Obvious inequities between metalworking apprenticeship training and woodworking apprenticeship training. Herein we will offer some examples of that inequity that we feel should be eradicated.

Inequities that we speak of result from federal child labor regulations. Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) includes 17 hazardous orders that prohibit 16- and 17-year-olds from certain work. Those prohibitions are in place for the safety of the minors, something this firm wholeheartedly favors. However, we will show that inequities exist within these hazardous orders that should be overcome for the sake of offering training in the woodworking industry similar to that offered in the metalworking industry.

Hazardous Order 5 (29 CFR 570.55) prohibits 16- and 17-year-olds from using any power-driven machine that cuts, shapes, forms, surfaces, nails, staples, wire stitches, fastens or otherwise assembles, presses, or prints wood or wood veneer. An example of such a tool is a standard, run-of-the-mill hand-held electric drill. Because an electric hand-held drill is powered, if it issued by a 16- or 17-year-old to drill a hole into wood there is a violation of Hazardous Order 5.

Hazardous Order 8 (29 CFR 570.29) prohibits 16- and 17-year-olds from using certain power-driven machinery in the metalworking industry. But, that same Hazardous Order 8 allows use of "machine tools," including basic tools like drills, lathes, grinders, milling machines and whatever else is deemed "machine tools." Specifically prohibited are forming, punching and shearing machines enumerated in Hazardous Order 8 that are machines which "the designation is custom applied." Sixteen- and 1 7-year-olds can use an electric hand-held drill to drill holes into metal and there is no violation of the law.

Sixteen- and 17-year-olds can use a hand-held electric drill to drill holes in metal all day long, but the moment they drill a hole into wood, they have broken the law. Similar comparisons can be drawn regarding hand-held power sanders/grinders and screwdrivers, in each case we are talking about basic tools that DOL allows 16- and 17-year-olds to use on metal but not on wood.

29 CFR 570.50 allows some exemptions to Hazardous Orders 5 and 8 for student learners and apprentices. However, dependence upon that exemption is precarious because it depends upon certain subjective factors like "direct and close supervision" and "intermittent" usage for "short periods."

We have spoken with DOL representatives on several occasions to accurately understand the laws as they apply to the woodworking and metalworking industries. The DOL says that those laws were established for the safety of children. We agree that child safety should come first and never suggest otherwise. However, we question the equity of the law. Are drills safer for drilling holes in metal than in wood? Is the use of lathes, grinders and milling machines on metal safer than using a random orbital sander to polish wood?

As things stand, in comparison with the metalworking industry, the woodworking industry faces a distinct disadvantage in training and educating youth. While we believe in child safety, we also believe in educating and training youth and we believe in fair laws.

We seek assistance from anyone who can help us rectify this situation. We seek assistance in providing safe training in the woodworking industry.

Sincerely,

Randy Jensen

Vice-President

Personnel & Production

Leonard Peterson & Co. Inc.

Auburn, AL

(334) 821-6832
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Publication:Wood & Wood Products
Date:Mar 1, 2000
Words:852
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