Young People More likely to Be Injured at Workplace


One would think that young people today are not paying attention since they are twice as likely as older and more mature workers to suffer an injury on the job that requires treatment according to the CDC report.

From 1998 through 2007, researchers investigated workplace data on injuries. What they found was that 5,719 people between 15 and 24 died from occupational injuries, or on average 572 annually. The fatality rate for that group was 3.6 per 100,000 full-time workers, compared to 4.4 for people 25 and older.

In the same period, an estimated 7.9 million nonfatal job-related injuries to younger workers required emergency department treatment. According to the report, injures to people 15 to 24 was about two times higher than among workers 25 and older.


The report found that the highest non-fatal injuries occurred with workers who were between the ages of 18 and 19. It also found that younger male workers experienced more injury that females. "The males may be assigned to the riskier tasks, doing more construction work," study researcher Dawn Castillo, MPH, of CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Investigators suspect that the injury rate among younger workers might be higher due to lack of inexperience and inadequate supervision. Researcher Chris Estes, MPH, stated that employers need to do more to make workplaces safer.

It was noted in the report that the most frequent causes of job-related deaths among all ages were linked to transportation.

Lead researcher Castillo says younger workers "might be less likely to recognize hazards, less likely to speak up regarding safety and less aware of their legal rights as workers. This might be exacerbated for some groups of workers, such as Hispanics and workers in their first jobs."

The researchers state, "reductions in younger worker injuries and deaths will require employers to make changes in work environments and workplace practices" and that employers need to be more aggressive about training and making job sites safer. "We're very pleased to see there have been modest declines, but more work can be done to make sure younger workers are safer at work,"