NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Work-related deaths in children.
Suruda A; Halperin W
Am J Ind Med 1991 Jun; 19(6):739-745
A study of work related deaths in children was conducted. The OSHA Integrated Management Information System (IMIS) and NIOSH National Traumatic Occupational Fatality (NTOF) databases for the period 1984 to 1985 were searched to identify and obtain details of all work related fatalities involving children. Supplementary information was also obtained from Michigan OSHA, the California Department of Industrial Relations, and the State of Washington Department of Labor and Industry. A total of 104 work related deaths occurring in persons 17 years or younger were identified in the OSHA IMIS. The mean age was 16.4 years. Fourteen deaths occurred in children 15 years or younger. During 1984 and 1985 OSHA investigated 47 deaths in 16 and 17 year old workers. During 1984 and 1985 111 deaths were recorded in the NIOSH NTOF for the same age group. For the 1984 to 1985 period most of the deaths occurred in the construction industry followed by wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, services, and farming. Industrial vehicle and machinery accidents, electrocution, asphyxiation, and falls accounted for the largest number of deaths, 31, 18, 12, and 11, respectively. Three of the asphyxiation deaths involved substance abuse. Only 7% of the deaths occurred in a unionized company. OSHA issued one or more citations to the employers in which 70% of the deaths occurred. All but four of the fatalities were to males. Forty three deaths involved performing work that was specifically prohibited by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The authors conclude that since the number of deaths recorded for 16 and 17 year old workers in the NIOSH NTOF database for 1984 and 1985 is 2.5 times that investigated by OSHA, the number of work related deaths occurring to children could be seriously underestimated. Despite regulation by OSHA and the FSLA, hazardous child labor continues to occur.
NIOSH-Author; Age-groups; Accident-statistics; Information-systems; Traumatic-injuries; Substance-abuse; Mortality-data; Construction-industry; Agricultural-workers
Issue of Publication
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
CA; MI; WA; MD; OH
Page last reviewed: September 11, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division