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Protecting Youth at Work: Health, Safety, and Development of Working Children and Adolescents in the United States
ture. These reports are widely disseminated to relevant trade associations, workers' organizations, and health and safety professionals. Because only certain causes of death are targeted, not all deaths of young people are investigated in participating states. Massachusetts is an exception, in that it targets all deaths of young people. Even though not all work-related deaths are included in the FACE program, it provides important contextual information that is unavailable in the other systems and can be vital to prevention efforts.
Integrated Management Information System
The Integrated Management Information System (IMIS) is maintained by OSHA. It is an inspection-based system, containing only information obtained as a result of visits by agency inspectors. Employers are required to report work-related fatalities to OSHA within 48 hours of their occurrence, but only the information on fatalities that are investigated is entered into IMIS. This information is the basis for annual reports by the agency on the number of inspections it has undertaken, the number of violations cited, the penalties imposed, and so forth.
From 1984 through 1987, the database included 104 deaths of individuals under the age of 18; of these, 14 (13 percent) involved youngsters under the age of 15 (Suruda and Halperin, 1991). Incidents involving industrial vehicles or machines accounted for 30 percent of the deaths of children and youth under the age of 18. The other most frequent causes of death were electrocution (16 percent), falls (11 percent), and asphyxiation (11 percent).
It should be noted that OSHA investigates less than 30 percent of all work-related deaths (Stout and Bell, 1991; Suruda, 1992). It does not investigate work-related homicides or most transportation accidents—neither of which is under OSHA jurisdiction—deaths in industries regulated by other federal agencies, deaths among federal workers, or deaths among the self-employed. In many states, all state and local public-sector workers are also excluded. Although a large number of young workers' deaths occur in agriculture, the industry is little investigated by OSHA. Although IMIS does not include all work-related deaths of children, it offers the ability to match violations of safety and child labor laws with deaths. Of 104 children whose deaths were identified through this system for the period from 1984 to 1987, Suruda and Halperin (1991) found that