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Work-related injuries in minors.

Schober SE; Handke JL; Halperin WE; Moll MB; Thun MJ
Am J Ind Med 1988; 14(5):585-595
Worker's compensation claims as reported to the Supplementary Data System of the Bureau of Labor Statistics were analyzed with respect to work related injuries occurring in persons less than 18 years of age. A total of 23,823 claims were examined. Most of these arose from workers aged 16 and 17 years (30.4 and 59.5 percent, respectively) and 1.3 percent from workers less than 14 years of age. Male workers accounted for 72 percent of the claims. The most frequent type of injury was cuts, lacerations, and punctures (36.5 percent) with sprains and strains following next at 17.3 percent. The more serious injuries such as fractures, dislocations and amputations accounted for 5.8, 0.7 and 0.6 percent of the total cases, respectively. The most frequently listed occupations included service workers, 46.2 percent, and laborers, 23.4 percent. The authors suggest that the occurrence of work related injuries in persons less than 18 years of age represents a failure of prevention and suggests that inadequacies exist in the protection of working children and adolescents. The authors recommend that information from descriptive studies be used to upgrade current laws for protecting workers in hazardous jobs, that active surveillance of occupational injuries in minors be instituted at federal and state levels, and that school authorities and physicians who give permission for minors to work should have complete information about jobs that are prohibited under current laws.
NIOSH-Author; Accident-prevention; Safety-research; Epidemiology; Worker-health; Industrial-hazards; Industrial-safety; Accident-analysis; Industrial-safety-programs
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Journal Article
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American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Page last reviewed: February 18, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division