April 6, 2012
A new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agriculture Statistics Service shows injuries to youth on farms has declined significantly - almost cut in half - since 2001. The clear trend should be of interest across the agricultural sector in light of rules the U.S. Department of Labor proposed last year that could have restricted children under 15 years of age from working on farms and ranches.
According to the report, Agriculture Safety: 2009 Injuries to Youth on Farms, agriculture-related injuries to youth under 20 years of age on U.S. farms have decreased from 13.5 injuries per 1,000 farms in 2001 to 7.2 injuries per 1,000 farms in 2009. In 2009, there were 15,876 injuries to youth who lived on, worked on or visited a farm in the United States compared to 29,277 in 2001, 27,591 in 2004 and 22,894 injuries in 2006.
The totals include all farm injuries, but injuries specifically related to farm work have declined in a similar fashion. In 2009, the report shows 1.5 working injuries per 1,000 farms, down from 2.4 injuries in 2006, 3.3 in 2004 and four in 2001.
Among all farm injuries to youths, males account for a majority - 58 percent in 2009 - and the 10- to 15-year age group is most susceptible to injuries. Looking specifically at work-related injuries, males accounted for 70 percent of the total in 2009.
The full report is available at http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/MannUsda/viewDocumentInfo.do?documentID=1481
Reprinted in part from Drovers CattleNetwork