NIOSH Findings on Young Worker Fatalities Go Back More Than 20 Years

Published July 12, 2017

​A new publication released last week focuses on NIOSH surveillance and investigative findings related to fatal injuries among young workers. The publication, Young Worker Injury Deaths: A Historical Summary of Surveillance and Investigative Findings, summarizes surveillance data on young worker fatal injuries from 1994 to 2013 and provides an assessment of fatality patterns and trends by industry, state, region, and other demographic and injury variables. Investigative data summaries from case reports of fatal injuries to young workers from 1982 and 2010 can also be found in the publication. NIOSH hopes that academic and government entities and safety professionals will use the publication to help guide future research, develop injury prevention programs, and inform policymaking concerning young worker safety. The agency cautions that the surveillance data lack the specificity needed to identify the root causes of issues related to fatal injuries among young workers, and that the investigative data cannot be used to make generalizations about the population. However, NIOSH notes that the two sets of data in the publication can provide insight for identifying issues affecting youth in the workplace, recommending prevention measures, and assessing the effectiveness of child labor laws.

In addition to the surveillance and investigative data summaries, readers will find NIOSH’s recommendations for preventing injuries among workers, including information on the roles of employers, parents, youth, educators, researchers, and federal and state agencies.

AIHA has been working to improve teen workplace safety for some time. The association recently partnered with experts at NIOSH to develop the Safety Matters program, which is intended to raise awareness among teens about workplace health and safety and provide basic skills that contribute to a safe work environment. The program is free and voluntary, and requires no special training to deliver. Through Safety Matters, students are exposed to in-demand professions such as industrial hygiene and are better prepared for the potential hazards of their future workplaces. Visit AIHA’s online Safety Matters Center to learn more.