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NIOSH Issues Farm Youth Death, Injury Data, Introduces Web Information Resource

NIOSH Update:

Contact: Fred Blosser (202) 401-3749
September 25, 2001

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) issued two reports with statistics on agriculture-related deaths and injuries among youths on farms. NIOSH also introduced a Web resource for persons seeking information on national efforts to prevent such deaths and injuries.

One of the NIOSH reports, “Fatal Unintentional Farm Injuries Among Persons Less than 20 Years of Age in the United States: Geographic Profiles,” DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2001-153, provides regional and state-level data on prevalence of, and factors related to, fatal injuries to young people on farms. This is the first time that such data have been compiled at the regional and state levels. By filling this gap, NIOSH hopes to further efforts by state and community groups to address specific problems in their areas. The report is based on a NIOSH analysis of data from the National Center for Health Statistics for the years 1982 through 1996.

Among other findings, the document on fatal injuries reports that:

  • Between 1982 and 1996, 2,174 farm deaths occurred among youths less than 20 years of age.
  • Of those deaths, 85.2 percent occurred among males.
  • Farm machinery-related deaths were the leading cause of death, accounting for 36 percent of the fatalities.
  • In the Northeast and the West, the greatest proportion of farm youth deaths occurred among children age four and under. In the Midwest and the South, the greatest proportion involved youths 15-19 years of age.

The other report, “Injuries Among Youths on Farms in the United States, 1998,” DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2001-154, compiles information from a survey conducted by NIOSH and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Data are presented for the nation as a whole and for different regions of the country and are intended to help safety and health professionals and other groups working in the area of childhood farm safety. Among other findings, the document on non-fatal injuries reports that:

  • An estimated 32,808 youth injuries occurred on farms in 1998.
  • Youths less than 10 years of age were estimated to have the highest number of injuries (11,210), followed by 12- and 13-year-olds (5,100).
  • The leading causes of injury were falls (an estimated 7,225 injuries), off-road transportation incidents (an estimated 5,082 injuries), and being struck by objects (an estimated 3,613 injuries).
  • Livestock operations had the highest number of estimated injuries (16,981), followed by crop operations (12,338).

To provide researchers and others with centralized electronic access to a variety of information on preventing death and injury to youths on farms, NIOSH has established a section on its Web page that gathers reports, documents, recommendations, and references in one place. The Web resource is part of NIOSH’s ongoing Childhood Agriculture Injury Prevention Initiative, in which the Institute works with the farming community, health and safety professionals, and other agencies to advance efforts to help keep young people safe on farms. The section can be accessed from NIOSH’s Web site , by clicking the link for “NIOSH Childhood Agriculture Injury Prevention Initiative.”

The reports on fatal and non-fatal injuries are available in the Web section. For printed copies or other information on NIOSH research, contact the NIOSH toll-free information number, 1-800-35-NIOSH (1-800-356-4674).