Agriculture, forestry and fishing

NIOSH cites progress on reducing farm injuries among youth

Washington – Implementation of the Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention Initiative in 1996 has helped reduce the number of agricultural injuries suffered by children, according to a recent report from NIOSH.

Published in May, the 100-page report summarizes 15 years (1997-2011) of research funded through the initiative. The rate of agricultural injuries among children declined 56 percent between 1998 and 2009, according to the report.

In one study, an English-as-a-second-language curriculum was found to be effective in educating teen farmworkers. Nearly half of the intervention group reported implementing new behavior to protect their health and safety. The number of teens younger than 16 working with pesticides decreased 96 percent, and those driving a tractor decreased 93 percent.

In addition, studies about farm safety camps showed that the low-cost programs have success at reinforcing safety messages.

About 115 youths younger than 20 die on farms each year, and about 15,876 farm-related injuries occur in that age group.