1992), hot water or oil (Miller, 1995), knives and slicers (Miller, 1995), and containers and surfaces (Schober et al., 1988).
Interviews with young workers demonstrate the prevalence of exposure to potential hazards at work. Of 562 North Carolina teens with work experience outside of farming, 36 percent reported using ladders or scaffolds at work; 31 percent reported using forklifts, tractors, or riding mowers on the job; and 27 percent reported working around very loud noises (Dunn et al., 1998). Of 300 Massachusetts high-school students who reported that they were currently working or had previously worked, 50 percent reported using cleaning chemicals at work, nearly 50 percent used case cutters, 37 percent used ladders, 19 percent used food slicers, and 13 percent used box crushers—despite the fact that child labor laws prohibit individuals under the age of 18 from operating either food slicers or box crushers. Twelve percent reported working alone at night (Bowling, 1996; unpublished tabulations, Massachusetts Department of Public Health).
Work-related injuries that result in death merit special attention. Each year from 1992 through 1995, approximately 70 youths younger than 18 died from injuries they received at work (Derstine 1996; Toscano and Windau, 1994). Table 3-4 summarizes findings from the major studies of work-related deaths. Estimates of the number of deaths, as well as where and how they occurred, vary from study to study. As discussed in more detail below ("Source of Surveillance Data"), there are many reasons for this variation. Most data sources rely on death certificates, but they capture only 81 percent of work-related deaths in general. For children and adolescents, the percentage may be even lower because it is less likely that the death will be recognized as work-related for them than for adults. A further difficulty in studying work-related deaths among youngsters results from the relatively small number of such deaths that occur each year. To have an adequate number of cases to analyze, researchers must aggregate data over a number of years and combine data for different ages. Differences in the years selected and the age groupings with a low base-rate phenomenon (such as children's work-related deaths) can result in fairly large differences among study findings. Of youths younger than 18, the majority of deaths