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Young workers at risk when working in agricultural production.

Hard-DL; Myers-JR; Snyder-K; Casini-VJ; Morton-L; Cianfrocco-R; Fields-J
Am J Ind Med 1999 Sep; 36(S1):31-33
Young agricultural production workers have a three-fold greater risk of death than private sector workers nationally. The male/female gender composition of fatalities among young agricultural production workers is similar to other studies of adults (Myers and Hard, 1995). Farm tractors were the leading source of fatalities for young agricultural workers in both surveillance systems, with overturns being the most frequent event. Trucks were the second leading fatality source for Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) and the third for National Traumatic Occupational Fatalities (NTOF). Events leading to deaths involving trucks varied between NTOF and CFOI; NTOF identified being a pedestrian and struck by the truck or trailed equipment as the leading event; CFOI identified nonhighway overturns as being a leading event. The CFOI found workers under 25-years of age to be at a slightly higher risk of death than workers 25- to 34-years of age and identified truck-related deaths as one higher risk area. The increases risk for thee workers <25 years old for the CFOI may be an artifact of the rate being inflated by not accounting for employment of workers <15-years of age. Agricultural machinery with resulting entanglement was the third leading source of fatality for CFOI, which highlights the continued danger of youth entanglement which working around operating machinery/equipment. NTOF identified drownings in water as the second leading source of fatalities, which is a unique risk factor for younger agricultural production workers as compared to older agricultural production workers. Recent research indicates that fatality rates for young workers based on hours worked may be significantly higher than rates based on employment, which could increase the relative risk found among workers in this age group (Ruser, 1998). Although young agricultural workers show lower fatality rates than older agricultural workers, their 3-fold risk increase compared to the general working population is an important public health concern. Prevention efforts should concentrate on the leading mechanisms resulting in death, such as farm tractors, trucks and drownings, to reduce these unacceptable risks.
Age-factors; Injuries; Traumatic-injuries; Occupational-accidents; Statistical-analysis; Work-environment; Surveillance-programs; Agricultural-industry; Demographic-characteristics; Sex-factors; Risk-factors; Risk-analysis; Tractors; Agricultural-workers; Agricultural-machinery; Age-groups
David Hard, NIOSH, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26505
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American Journal of Industrial Medicine