Nonfatal Occupational Injuries to Younger Workers — United States, 2012–2018
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Nonfatal Occupational Injuries to Younger Workers — United States, 2012–2018

  • Published Date:

    September 04 2020

  • Source:
    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 69(35):1204-1209
  • Language:
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  • Alternative Title:
    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
  • Description:
    Adolescents and young adults represent approximately 13% of the U.S. workforce (1). Compared with adult workers, young workers (aged 15-24 years) experience higher rates of job-related injury (2,3). To describe injuries among young workers and inform research and prevention activities, CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) analyzed national data for 2012-2018 from the occupational supplement to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System* (NEISS-Work) and for 2018 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII).| During the 7-year period, an estimated 3.2 million (95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.6-3.7) nonfatal, job-related injuries to young workers were treated in hospital emergency departments (EDs). From 2012 to 2018, annual rates of work-related injuries| treated in the ED (ED-treated injuries) declined overall across all age groups but ranged from 1.2 to 2.3 times higher for workers aged 15-24 years compared with those for adults aged 25-44 years. Workers aged 18-19 years had the highest rate of ED-treated injuries. In 2018, among all age groups, workers in service occupations| had the highest percentage of injuries requiring at least 1 day away from work. Among workers aged 15-17 years, those in the leisure and hospitality industry had the highest percentage of work-related injuries requiring at least 1 day away from work. Occupational injuries can have long-term impacts on health (4). The disproportionate risk of injury among young workers highlights the need for sustained, targeted public health efforts to prepare this population with essential workplace safety and health competencies before they enter the workforce and to provide high-quality safety training and close supervision on the job. NIOSH and its partners developed a free curriculum to teach adolescents workplace safety and health competencies, which includes identification of workplace hazards and methods for addressing them, how to understand their rights and responsibilities as workers, and how to voice concerns about work safety issues (5).
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