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October 2005, Vol. 128, No. 10
Occupational injuries among young workers
Janice Windau and Samuel Meyer
Young workers face considerable occupational risks. Fatality counts dropped for many age groups between the two 5-year periods in 1993–2002, but increased 34 percent for workers aged 14 and 15 years. Fatalities for young workers aged 14 to 17 increased in the construction, services, and government industries and decreased in retail trade. Child labor laws are designed to protect young workers from participating in dangerous jobs, but some hazardous occupations (work on a family farm, for example) are outside the scope of such laws.
This article updates a previous study of injuries and fatalities among young workers covering the 1992–97 period.1 That study concluded that young workers are exposed to some of the same hazards as older workers, despite regulations.2 This study compares fatalities among young workers during two time periods: 1993–97 and 1998–2002.3 The study also compares data for nonfatal injuries and illnesses among young workers with data for all workers. A snapshot of youth employment in recent years is discussed, and fatality data totals for 2003 and 2004 are presented.
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1 See Janice Windau, Eric Sygnatur, and Guy Toscano, "Profile of work injuries incurred by young workers," Monthly Labor Review, June 1999, pp. 3–10.
3 Although fatality data for 2003 and 2004 were available at the time the article was prepared, those data were compiled using a different industrial classification system from the data for previous years. Industries in the 2003–04 data were classified according to the 2002 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), while those in the 1992–2002 data are based on the 1987 Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system. The classification schemes are not comparable. Data presented in this article exclude the fatalities related to the events of September 11th, 2001.
Related BLS programs
Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities
Profile of work
injuries incurred by young workers.—June
The relation of age to workplace injuries.—July 1988.
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