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J Agric Saf Health. 2001 May;7(2):101-12.

Fatal on-farm injuries among youth 16 to 19 years of age: 1982-1994.

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  • 1Division of Safety Research, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA.


Data from the Vital Statistics Mortality (VSM) public use file and the National Traumatic Occupational Fatalities (NTOF) surveillance systems were used to describe fatal injuries among youth 16-19 years of age in the United States that occurred on farms for the years 1982 through 1994. The VSM captures all deaths in the United States, while the NTOF only captures occupational injury deaths. There were 550 total on-farm fatalities to youth 16-19 years of age in the VSM, and 221 occupational on-farm deaths from the NTOF for the same age group. These numbers suggest that 40% of the on-farm deaths were occupational. It was found that the proportions of deaths attributable to work increased with age. Fatality rates for on-farm nonoccupational deaths decreased slightly during the time period (from 8.4 deaths/100,000 for 1982-1985 to 6.8 deaths/100,000 for 1991-1994), while on-farm occupational fatality rates dropped dramatically (12.0 deaths/100,000 for 1982-1985 down to 4.9 deaths/100,000 for 1991-1994). The leading causes of death for on-farm occupational fatalities were machinery (54%) and electrical current (20%). The most common causes of on-farm fatalities that were nonoccupational were drowning (38.9%) and firearms (28.6%). For the years 1991 through 1994, drowning and firearms accounted for approximately the same number of on-farm deaths as machinery. Nonoccupational risks are a concern for youth 16-19 years of age on the farm.

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