After a year of discussion, WHD has finally released a Field Assistance Bulletin 2011-3, which states: "While continuing its review of this issue … WHD will exercise its enforcement discretion, and not assert child labor violations involving 16- and 17-year-olds who assist a trained adult worker [someone 18 or older] in the operation of floor-based vertical powered patient/resident lift devices, ceiling-mounted vertical powered patient/resident lift devices, and powered sit-to-stand patient/resident lift devices (lifting devices);" as long as the following conditions are met:
- The child has completed at least the 75 clock hours (if not more) of nurse aide training required under OBRA.
- The child is assisting in the use of the lifting device as a junior member of at least a two-person team that is headed by someone 18 or older.
- As a junior member, the child can set up, move, position, and secure the lifting device. The child may assist a trained adult employee in attaching slings to and unattaching slings from the lifting device prior to and after the lift is completed. The child also may assist an adult in operating the controls. The child may act as a spotter/observer and may position items such as a chair, bed, etc., for the person being lifted.
- As a junior member, the child may not independently engage in "hands on" physical contact with the patient during the lifting process; but instead can only assist in these "hands on" activities when assisting a trained adult.
- The child is not injured while operating or assisting.
- The employer has provided to each child who will assist in the operation of a lifting device a copy of this bulletin.