Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

The June Review

Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

The June Review

Article excerpt

As summer and the seasonal upswing in teenage employment begin, it is appropriate that we lead this issue with an article on the risks youths face in the workplace. Janice Windau, Eric Sygnatur, and Guy Toscano find that 15-year-olds have about the same risk of fatal injury as adult workers and that 16- and 17-year-olds have fatality rates about three-quarters that for all workers combined. Still, more than 400 youths 17 and younger were killed on the job between 1992 and 1997, and, as the authors observe, "youth fatalities and other serious injuries tend to have a greater emotional impact on society, and concerns for their safety will continue to be an important consideration."

John W. Ruser looks at another important issue in occupational injury and illness data. The overall incidence of workplace injuries and illnesses was 7.1 cases per 100 workers in 1997--the lowest rate since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began reporting these data in the early 1970s. Within that decline, there has also been a change in the way the more serious cases are treated: Cases with lost work time are now less likely to involve days totally away from work and more likely to involve a return to restricted work activities. Ruser attributes the change to a possible decrease in the severity of injuries combined with a trend toward more quickly returning affected workers to the job. …

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