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NIOSH investigates young worker injury deaths

Provides historical data, recommendations for the future

Posted July 12, 2017

A recently released NIOSH document provides surveillance data summaries on young worker injury deaths from 1994 to 2013. The summaries assess fatality patterns and trends by industry, state, region, and various other demographic and injury variables for workers under 18 years of age.

The document also presents investigative data summaries from case reports of young worker deaths from 1982 to 2010. The investigations are intended provide insight for identifying issues that apply to employed young people, recommending injury prevention measures, and assessing the effectiveness of child labor laws.

In addition to chronicling NIOSH’s surveillance and investigative findings related to young worker fatalities, the document also serves as a resource for academics, government entities, and safety professionals to guide research efforts, develop injury prevention programs, and inform policymaking to improve young worker safety.

Key results

The report shows that from 1994 to 2013, 942 youths less than 18 years old died as the result of a work-related injury. According to the data, most young workers are hired in four industries:

  • Agriculture production (389 fatalities),
  • Services (181 fatalities),
  • Construction (143 fatalities), and
  • Retail trade (65 fatalities).

The most common event that led to the fatal injury of a young worker was a transportation incident (454 deaths) with contact with objects and equipment and violent acts following closely behind.

Young males were more likely to die on the job than young females (829 males compared to 113 females).

Read the report on the NIOSH website.

Workplace Safety AdvisorJ. J. Keller's Workplace Safety Advisor covers important topics, including: hazard communication, OSHA Inspections, recordkeeping requirements, bloodborne pathogens, and lockout/tagout.


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