Occupational fatalities among young workers in the United States: 2001–2012

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BackgroundWhile adolescent workers in the United States (US) are protected by child labor laws, they continue to suffer fatal occupational injuries. This study was designed to provide a comprehensive profile of occupational fatalities among this sub-population of US workers.MethodsUsing Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries data between 2001 and 2012, we calculated descriptive statistics and rates to examine the magnitude and nature of fatalities among workers under age 18.ResultsDuring the study period, there were 406 fatalities among young workers which translated into 24,790 years of potential life lost; 12,241 of which were in agriculture alone. Rates declined since 2001 yet Hispanics, foreign-born workers, males, and those working in agriculture continued to suffer a disproportionate fatality burden.ConclusionsEfforts to reduce young worker fatalities should focus on male Hispanics, particularly those who are foreign-born, as well as agricultural workers as these groups have the greatest fatality risks. Am. J. Ind. Med. 59:445–452, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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