Child Labor Research Needs

DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 97-143


Appendix A – Charge to the NIOSH Child Labor Working Team*

In April 1992, Dr. Millar addressed the Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention Symposium with the question: Who will save the children? While Dr. Millar was speaking of the children who work on farms, this is an equally important question for the children who work in other sectors of the workforce. I know the problem of child labor is not simple, and for too long the magnitude of the problem of work related injuries to children has not been appreciated. Efforts to prevent these injuries will require the combined efforts of NIOSH, regulators, medical providers, educators, and employers. I believe NIOSH must take an active role in the prevention of work related injuries and illness among our Nations youth. NIOSH has played a central role over the past decade in rediscovering the problem of injuries and illness associated with child labor. That is why I am asking your team to assess current research and prevention activities in the Federal Government (including the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, Agriculture, Education, and others as appropriate), State government, and universities with the goal of identifying research, surveillance, and intervention actions to be undertaken for the prevention of injuries and illness that limit the health, well being, or potential of our working youth in this country. As Champion for your working team, I look forward to your recommendations on this very important subject.

*Richard A. Lemen, Ph.D., Deputy Director of NIOSH, April 11, 1994.

Appendix B – NIOSH Child Labor Working Team Membership

NIOSH Members

Heinz Ahlers, Education and Information Division (EID)

Dawn Castillo, Division of Safety Research (DSR) Leader

John Decker, Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies (DSHEFS)

Janet Ehlers, DSHEFS

John Fajen, DSHEFS

William Halperin, DSR

David Hard, DSR

E. Lynn Jenkins, Office of the Director (OD)

Deborah Landen, DSR

Jane Lipscomb, OD

Larry Mazzuckelli, DSHEFS

John Palassis, EID

Teri Palermo, Division of Respiratory Disease Studies (DRDS)

Ted Scharf, Division of Biomedical and Behavioral Science (DBBS)

Ray Sinclair, EID

Nancy Stout, DSR

Joann Wess, EID

Mary Lynn Woebkenberg, Division of Physical Sciences and Engineering (DPSE)

Members from Other Federal Agencies

Margarett Davis, Division of Adolescent and School Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC, DHHS

William Fern, Wage and Hour Division, Employment Standards Administration, Department of Labor

Judith Gilbert, SchooltoWork Office, Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Education

Art Kerschner, Jr., Wage and Hour Division, Employment Standards Administration, Department of Labor

Bradley K. Rein, Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Cathy Wasem, Office of Rural Health Policy, Health Resources and Services Administration, DHHS

Appendix C – Expert Presentations to NIOSH Child Labor Working Team

Federal Child Labor Regulation and Enforcement
Art Kerschner, Jr., and William Fern, Wage and Hour Division, DOL

Available Data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)
Felicia LeClere, NCHS

Available Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
Larry Leith, BLS, DOL

Research on How to Educate Youth about Workplace Health and Safety
Robin Baker, University of California at Berkeley

Ron Castaldi and Jack Repoire, Department of Education
Judith Gilbert, School-to-Work Office, Departments of Education and Labor

OSHAs Role with Respect to Child Labor
John Solheim, OSHA

Washington States Child Labor Regulatory Efforts
Suzanne Mager and Mary Miller, Washington Department of Labor and Industries

Survey of Injured Adolescent Workers
Dawn Castillo, NIOSH

APHA Policy Statement on Child Labor
Mary Miller, Washington Department of Labor and Industries

Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP) Activities
Colleen Hennessy, ORHP, HRSA, DHHS

Psychosocial Aspects of Adolescent Work
Mike Shanahan, University of North Carolina

Psychosocial Aspects of Adolescent Work
Larry Steinberg, Temple University

Sleep-Related Concerns for Child Labor
Mary Carskadon, Brown University Medical School

NIH-Funded Survey of Adolescent Health
Susan Newcomer, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development,
National Institutes of Health

Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) Activities
Brad Rein, CSREES, U. S. Department of Agriculture.

Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention
Barbara Lee, National Farm Medicine Center

Review of NIOSH Agriculture Program
Teri Palermo, NIOSH

Occupational Health Nurses in Agricultural Communities Program
Janet Ehlers, NIOSH

Washington State Agricultural Regulations
Suzanne Mager, Washington Department of Labor and Industries

Minnesota FACE Investigations of Child Fatalities
David Parker, Minnesota Department of Health

Farm Stress Injury Model and Expected Consequences for Adolescent Family Members
Ted Scharf, NIOSH

Emerging Issues and Changing Nature of Agriculture Update on National Committee Report to the Secretary of HHS
Sue Bernstein, ORHP, HRSA, DHHS

Coordinated School Health Programs
Margarett Davis, Peter Hunt, and Laura Kann, Division of Adolescent and School Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC, DHHS

Industrial Hygiene Surveys at Vocational Schools
John Fajen, NIOSH

Safety and Health Training for Vocational Teachers and Administrators
John Palassis, NIOSH

Enhancing Young Workers Safety and Health through Community Education Efforts
Ray Sinclair, NIOSH; Letitia Davis, Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Youth Focus Groups on Occupational Safety and Health
Letitia Davis, Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Occupational Safety and Health Research Needs for Children and Adolescents
Kenneth Kolash, National Safety Council

Occupational Safety and Health Research Needs for Children and Adolescents
Larry Offut, Burger King Corporation

Occupational Safety and Health Research Needs for Children and Adolescents
Rosco Vaughn and Brian Daniel, National Council of Agricultural Education

Occupational Safety and Health Research Needs for Children and Adolescents
Dorianne Beyer, National Child Labor Committee

Occupational Safety and Health Research Needs for Children and Adolescents
Keith Mestrich, AFLCIO and Child Labor Coalition

Development of Educational Materials for Teens in Massachusetts
Robin Dewey, Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Health Hazards Survey in Teen Workplaces
Elise Morse, Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Appendix D – National Objectives for the Occupational Safety and Health of Youths

The following materials illustrate the national objectives of both Federal and nonFederal agencies involved in the occupational safety and health of youths. Included are excerpts from various publications and Acts of Congress.

Joint Declaration on Health Education for Children [Shalala and Tsaregorodtsev 1996]

The following declaration was signed November 2, 1995, and issued January 26, 1996, by Donna Shalala (Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) and Alexander Tsaregorodtsev (Russian Minister of Health and Medical Industry):

As chairpersons of the Health Committee of the United States — Russia Joint Commission on Science and Technology, we address the leaders and citizens of our two nations on the important subject of health education for the children who will be citizens of the 21st century.

We affirm that:

The health of children in the present and their prospects for healthy lives in the future as adults depend on caring families, good nutrition, sufficient physical exercise, protection from hazards, and access to appropriate medical care; in addition, children must have basic knowledge and understanding to be able to develop habits and behaviors that build, rather than destroy, good health.

Our challenge as nations is to assure educational and community environments in which our children can attain the fundamental knowledge on which to build healthy lives and can engage in activities that support the development of healthy habits and patterns of life.

Therefore, we call upon our fellow citizens in the United States and the Russian Federation:

To make health education a priority for our educational systems, defining health education broadly to engage families, communities, and educational and health institutions in the transmission of essential information about life sciences and risks to health, as well as in provision of opportunities to engage in health supporting activities and to live their childhoods in health sustaining environments.

To support necessary training of the people who teach children in schools and who provide health services to them in clinics and hospitals, in order that they may transmit sound information and provide effective educational experiences to the children with whom they work.

To support and enhance health related research, through our respective research institutions at each level of government, in order to seek new knowledge of the causes of disease, measures to prevent illness and injury, and effective ways to achieve our educational goals.

We call especially on our fellow professional leaders in fields of education and pedagogy, medicine and health:

To make a commitment to expand and improve the quality of health education provided to our nations children as one of the fundamental obligations of our professions.

To accept and affirm our own roles as health educators, as an essential part of whatever specific work that we do.

To make our common goal, linking together our professional fields of endeavor and the organizations and systems in which we serve, to achieve healthy American and Russian children who are growing and learning to become healthy adults.

Finally, we affirm our own responsibility as health leaders of our two nations by endorsing these principles on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services of the United States of America and the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of the Russian Federation.

Healthy People 2000 [DHHS 1994]

  • Reduce work related injury rates among adolescent workers to 3.8 per 100 full-time workers.
  • Increase to at least 75% the proportion of the Nations elementary and secondary schools that provide planned and sequential kindergarten through 12th grade quality school health education.
  • Provide academic instruction on injury prevention and control, preferably as part of quality school health education, in at least 50% of public school systems.
  • Establish community health promotion programs that separately or together address at least three of the Healthy People 2000 priorities and reach at least 40% of each States population.

School-to-Work Opportunities Act [Public Law 103239]

  • To improve the knowledge and skills of youths by integrating academic and occupational learning, integrating school-based and work-based learning, and building effective linkages between secondary and post-secondary education.
  • A School-to-Work Opportunities program under this Act shall provide participating students, to the extent practicable, with strong experience in and understanding of all aspects of the industry the students are preparing to enter. The term all aspects of an industry includes planning, management, finances, technical and production skills, underlying principles of technology, labor and community issues, health and safety issues, and environmental issues, related to such industry or industry sector.

Goals 2000 — Educate America Act [Public Law 103227]

  • All workers will have the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills, from basic to highly technical, needed to adapt to emerging new technologies, work methods, and markets through public and private educational, vocational, technical, workplace, or other programs.

Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act [Public Law 101392]

  • It is the purpose of this Act to make the United States more competitive in the world economy by developing more fully the academic and occupational skills of all segments of the population. This purpose will principally be achieved through concentrating resources on improving educational programs leading to academic and occupational skill competencies needed to work in a technologically advanced society.
  • States desiring to receive funds shall submit a plan which includes an analysis of “. . . the capability of vocational education programs to provide vocational education students, to the extent practicable, with strong experience in and understanding of all aspects of the industry the students are preparing to enter (including planning, management, finances, technical and production skills, underlying principles of technology, labor and community issues, and health, safety, and environmental issues)”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Priorities [CDC 1996a]

  • CDC’s newest priority focuses on the vulnerability of our youth to adopt unhealthy behaviors leading to disease, death, and societal problems. Scientific evidence indicates that we can intervene with young people to prevent them from adopting these unhealthy behaviors. This investment in the health and safety of our youth today will pay health and economic dividends to our nation tomorrow.

National Occupational Research Agenda [NIOSH 1996b]

  • Priority Research Area: Special Populations at Risk. Occupational hazards are known to be distributed differentially, and workers with specific biologic, social, and/or economic characteristics are more likely to have increased risks of work related diseases and injuries.

Children and Agriculture: Opportunities for Safety and Health: A National Action Plan [National Committee for Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention 1996]

  • Establish and maintain a national system for childhood agricultural injury prevention
  • Establish that childhood agricultural injury prevention programs are supported with sufficient funding and cooperation from the public and private sectors
  • Establish guidelines for childrens’ and adolescents’ work in the industry of agriculture
  • Ensure that the public is aware of general childhood agricultural safety and health issues
  • Establish and maintain a comprehensive national database of fatal and nonfatal childhood agricultural injuries
  • Conduct research on costs, risk factors, and consequences associated with children and adolescents who participate in agricultural work
  • Use systematic evaluation to ensure that educational materials and methods targeted toward childhood agricultural safety and health have demonstrated positive results
  • Ensure that farm and ranch owners/operators, farm workers, parents, and care givers understand relevant agricultural safety and health issues that pertain to children and adolescents
  • Ensure that rural safety and health professionals understand the issues relevant to children and adolescents exposed to agricultural hazards
  • Influence adult behaviors which affect protection of children and adolescents through the use of incentives and adoption of voluntary safety guidelines
  • Provide a protective and supportive environment for children exposed as bystanders to agricultural hazards
  • Establish uniform standards that address protection of children and adolescents from agricultural occupational hazards

Childhood Risks Involving Tractors [National Safety Council 1996]

  • The Council urges appropriate agencies and professionals to identify and implement effective strategies and for manufacturers to implement appropriate design features to decrease the proportion of childrens’ injuries that involve tractors in operation.
  • Currently, there is little research data available on appropriate age, cognitive and physical development required for the operation of tractors by youths. There is also little data on the effectiveness of current programs that educate youth in the safe operation of tractors and other farm equipment. The Council encourages studies in these areas so that more reliable data can be developed.

Protection of Child and Adolescent Workers [APHA 1995]

  • Recommends that existing child labor regulations be reviewed periodically to update and expand prohibited duties based on research findings and knowledge about adolescent development capabilities, and where appropriate, reduce the number of allowable work hours and adjust quitting times.
  • Recommends that Federal and State labor departments and public health agencies work with youth educators to incorporate health and safety training into school curricula and that States involved in the School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994 include comprehensive health and safety training modules in their curricula.
  • Recommends that more resources be provided to improve data sources, expand research activities, and identify intervention strategies leading to prevention.
  • Encourages the coordination of public health efforts with the U.S. Department of Labor and Department of Health and Human Services to control and prevent workplace injuries among minors through efforts that improve education and training about the hazards associated with work for children and adolescents for educators, parents, teens, employers, health care providers, occupational safety and health professionals, and others in the field of public health.

Child Labor Update and Recommendations for Action [Child Labor Coalition 1993]

  • Gather more data on industries/work places/processes currently covered and review those which have only become prominent since the inception of the FLSA and the Hazardous Occupation Orders, but that, based upon an examination of injuries/accidents/ illnesses, seem to be detrimental to youth.
  • Solving our child labor problems requires a comprehensive, multi agency approach. Linkages among government agencies will promote information sharing, creative problem solving, and joint efforts and initiatives.