Quarry forced to move Amish workers from post: Report

Amish bidders listen to the auctioneer during the Annual Mud Sale to support the Fire Department March 12, 2011, in Gordonville, Pennsylvania.
Richard Ellis | Getty Images
Amish bidders listen to the auctioneer during the Annual Mud Sale to support the Fire Department March 12, 2011, in Gordonville, Pennsylvania.

As federal regulation regarding mine workers safety increases, one Pennsylvania quarry has found itself forced to move some of its Amish workers from their post, The Morning Call reported Tuesday.

Russell Stone Products, a Pennsylvania-based company with a sandstone quarry operation, said it had to move five of its Amish employees to other roles at the quarry because of their refusal to wear hard hats, its owner, Dan Russell, told the newspaper.

According to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), all workers in or around a mine must wear a hard hat. Nevertheless, this provision conflicts with Amish religion, which requires the Amish to wear black felt or straw hats.

"The Amish view their hat as a religious symbol and don't want to acquiesce to outside requirements," Donald Kraybill, a senior fellow at the Young Center, told the newspaper. "They don't want the loss of the hat in construction areas to lead to an erosion of wearing the hat elsewhere."

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Russell said he did not agree with MSHA's policy, "but I have to live with it."

Read the full report here.