Barrow firm penalized more than $5K for minors working near dynamite

Investigators with the Wage and Hour division of the U.S. Department of Labor found violations of child labor law.

The U.S. Department of Labor penalized a Barrow County blasting and drilling company $5,592 for allegedly allowing teenagers to work near dynamite, according to a news release last week.

Investigators found that Winder-based Controlled Blasting allowed three employees aged 16 and 17 years old to work where explosives were being stored and transported, according to the release. The company instructed workers to drill and cover holes where dynamite was placed for demolition projects near Lawrenceville, investigators found.

An Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter called a number Wednesday listed on Controlled Blasting’s website. A person answered the phone but hung up when a reporter requested comment on the citation. A repeat call was hung up on immediately.

Federal child labor law prohibits workers under 18, in most circumstances, from working where explosives are manufactured or stored.

Employers have hired more teens for jobs typically not held by younger workers, Steven Salazar, wage and hour division district director, said in the release.

“Businesses who employ minor-aged workers must educate themselves on keeping these workers safe, especially those around hazardous conditions,” Salazar said. “We encourage employers to access our website or contact the Wage and Hour Division to learn how to keep these young workers safe on the job.”