WASHINGTON — Youth worker fatalities in agriculture exceed all other industries combined, according to the 2022 Childhood Agricultural Injuries Fact Sheet published by the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety. The fact sheet data includes children/youth under 18 from 2001-2021.
About every three days, a child dies in an agriculture-related incident, and each day, at least 33 children are seriously injured, said Marsha Salzwedel, Ed.D., project scientist and agricultural youth safety specialist at the NIOSH-funded National Children’s Center, part of the National Farm Medicine Center, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute.
“We hope this fact sheet helps everyone understand the severity of the problem,” Salzwedel said.
Leading reported sources of fatalities involved transportation (47%), which includes tractors and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), and contact with machinery (20 percent) such as being pinned between a skid steer’s lift arms and frame.
Other notable statistics on injuries among youth:
- Youth under age 16 have 12 times the risk of ATV injuries (both fatal and non-fatal) compared to adults.
- From 2001 to 2015, 48 percent of all fatal occupational injuries to young workers occurred in agriculture.
- There are over four times more actual occupational injuries than are reported. As many as 88 percent of agricultural injuries and illnesses are not captured by traditional surveillance methods.
Bryan Weichelt, Ph.D., associate research scientist, led compilation of the fact sheet, alongside colleague, Rick Burke, M.P.H.
“There is no central database on childhood agricultural injuries in the U.S.,” Weichelt said. “In putting together this fact sheet we drew upon the best available data from a variety of sources.”
For information and resources to prevent child agricultural injuries, visit www.cultivatesafety.org.
To monitor, explore, or subscribe to the latest injury reports, go to www.aginjurynews.org.
–National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety