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How many child workers die in the work place in the US each year?

In 2015 and 2016 we averaged 27 teen work deaths a year compared to 72.5 deaths in 1999 and 2000.

Data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries by year:

2016 = 30   (report)

2015 = 24   (report)

2014 = 22   (report)

2013 = 13   (report)

2012 = 29   (report)

2011 = 23    (report)

2010 = 34    (report)

2009 = 27   (report)

2008 = 34   (report)

2007 = 38   (report)

2006 = 33   (report)

2005 = 54   (report)

2004 = 38   (report)

2003 = 53   (report)

2002 = 41   (report)

2001 = 53   (report)

2000 = 73    (report)

1999 = 72    (report)

1998 = 65   (report)

1997 = 62   (report)

1996 = 70   (report)

1995 = 68   (report)

1994 = 67   (report)

1993 = 68   (report)

1992 = 68   (report)

 

You can also access archived data here.

 

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How are teens dying and getting injured at work?

Transportation accidents, broadly defined to include almost any moving vehicle, killed 19 of the 22 teens under 18 in the latest BLS Fatal Occupational Injuries report covering 2014. All eight of the youth workers who died under 16 in 2014 died in transportation accidents. One of these accidents involved transportation by horses, one involved a boat, three were on roadways, and three were off roadways.

Of the 14 deaths of teenagers aged 16- and 17 years old, 11 were in transportation accidents. Five of these were roadway accidents, three were non-roadway accidents, and one was in a boat. In this age group, one teen died by fire or ignition of vapors/gases.

Oddly, the percentage of transportation accidents that killed 18- and 19-year-old workers was much lower—only half (killing 21 of 42.) “Contact with objects and equipment” (mostly being struck) killed nine of the remaining 21 and “exposure to harmful substances or environments” killed seven. It is important to note this data does not include farm children who die while doing non-paid work on farms for their parents.

Teenagers are particularly vulnerable to accidents both in normal life and at work. Accidents are the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 10 and 19. In fact, more youth between 10 and 19 die from injuries than die from all other causes combined.

Teen workers are killed in a shocking variety of ways:

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics for all (including adult) workers suggests that male workers are much more at risk than female.… Read the rest

Tragic Story of Deaths in a Grain Bin Highlights the Need for Increased Safeguards and Larger Fines

Twenty-five to 30 kids a year die at work. Through its advocacy and co-chairmanship of the Child Labor Coalition, the National Consumers League (NCL) has worked to reduce that number over the years. Each spring, NCL produces a report called “The Five Most Dangerous for Teens.” For several years, we worked to help enact proposed rules to protect kids working in agriculture. Last April, working through the CLC and its members we helped organize a press conference to highlight the dangers that young workers can encounter while working on farms and agricultural facilities.

Unfortunately, the organized farm lobby succeeded in forcing the Obama administration to withdraw the youth farm safety rules—a decision that we estimate will lead to the unnecessary deaths of 50 to 100 youth working on farms over the next decade.

This week, we heard the sobering story on National Public Radio (NPR) and the Public Broadcasting System’s News Hour each featured in-depth stories about a particularly lethal type of agricultural work: labor in grain silo facilities, which in a typical year kills 15 or more workers. According to recent data, 20 percent of the victims of grain engulfments are young workers.

NPR and PBS worked with the Center for Public Integrity, highlighting a terrible tragedy in Mount Carroll, Illinois nearly three years ago. Two teens, “running down the corn,” were engulfed by grain and killed while working in a silo: 14-year-old Wyatt Whitebread and 19-year-old Alex Pacas. Will Piper, a 20-year-old co-worker, barely escaped with his life because someone threw him a bucket that he was able to put over his head. The bucket prevented the flowing grain from asphyxiating him. Today, Piper lives in guilt because he found the job that killed his best friend Alex.

Among the worst aspects of the Whitebread-Pacas accidentally deaths, which we highlighted in our April 2012 press conference, are the facts that Wyatt, at 14, was too young to be doing such dangerous work. He and Alex also should have been wearing safety harnesses as they walked on top of the crusty grain trying to loosen it. The facility possessed the mandatory harnesses that would have saved the boys lives, but did instruct or compel the teens to wear them.

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Agriculture: Harvesting Crops and Using Machinery — One of the Most Dangerous Teen Jobs 2012

According to the CDC, in 2009 more than one million youth younger than 20 years old lived on farms and 519,000 of this number performed work. An additional 230,000 youth and adolescents were hired to work on farms.

Americans are reluctant to admit it, but farms are very dangerous. Agriculture is consistently ranked as one of the most dangerous industries in America. In its 2008 edition of Injury Facts, The National Safety Council ranked it as the most dangerous industry with 28.7 deaths per 100,000 adult workers. The fatality rate among youth workers in 2009—21.3 per 100,000 fulltime employees—means it the most dangerous sector that youth under 18 are allowed to work in.

According to Kansas State University (KSU) in 2007, there were 715 deaths on farms involving workers of all ages. More than 80,000 workers suffered disabling injuries. Working with livestock and farm machinery caused most of the injuries and tractors caused most of the deaths, according to John Slocombe, an extension farm safety specialist at KSU.

Agriculture poses dangers for teens as well. According to NIOSH, between 1995 and 2002, an average of 113 youth less than 20 years of age die annually from farm-related injuries. Between 1992 and 2000, more than four in 10 work-related fatalities of young workers occurred on farms. Half of the fatalities in agriculture involved youth under age 15. For workers 15 to 17, the risk of fatal injury is four times the risk for young workers in other workplaces, according to U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In 2009, an estimated 16,100 children and adolescents were injured while performing farm work. Every summer young farmworkers are run over or lose limbs to tractors and machinery. Heat stress and pesticides pose grave dangers. Riding in open pickups is another danger on farms.

Examples of recent farm tragedies follow:

• In August 2011 in Kremlin, Oklahoma, two 17-year-olds, Bryce Gannon and Tyler Zander, lost legs in a grain augur they became entrapped in.

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