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Youth in Agriculture

young worker

Each year, a significant number of young people are killed, injured or permanently disabled on farms in the United States. The cost of nonfatal injuries to youth in agriculture has been estimated at $1 billion annually.1,2

OSHA's Youth in Agriculture eTool describes common agricultural hazards and offers potential safety solutions that both employers and young workers can use to prevent accidents and avoid injury on the job. In addition, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health has created the Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention Initiative to identify and support the research needed to prevent youth injuries on farms, as well as raise awareness of the issue.

Farm Facts3
  • An estimated 1.03 million children and adolescents under 20 years of age resided on farms in 2009, with about 519,000 of these youth performing work on the farms. In addition to the youth who lived on farms, an additional 230,000 children and adolescents were hired to work on U.S. farms in 2009.
  • An estimated 33,000 children have farm-related injuries each year in the U.S. More than 100 of these children die as a result of their injuries.
  • On average, 113 youth, less than 20 years of age, died annually from farm-related injuries between 1995 and 2002. In 2011, 108 youth died.4
  • Of the leading causes of fatal injuries to youth on U.S. farms, 23% percent involved machinery (including tractors), 19% involved motor vehicles (includes ATVs), and 16% were due to drowning.

Most of these injuries were the result of children being directly involved in farm work.

The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division sets restrictions for youth in agriculture. More information for farm jobs is available at WHD's Child Labor webpage.


1 Eduard Zaloshnja PhD, Ted R. Miller PhD & Barbara C. Lee PhD (2010): Incidence and Cost of Nonfatal Farm Youth Injury, United States, 2001-2006, Journal of Agromedicine, 16:1, 6-18.

2 Eduard Zaloshnja, Ted R. Miller & Bruce Lawrence (2012): Incidence and Cost of Injury Among Youth in Agricultural Settings, United States, 2001-2006 [9 pages], Pediatrics, 129:4, 728-734.

3 Agricultural Safety. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Workplace Safety and Health Topic.

4 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), United States Department of Labor. Occupational Injuries and Illnesses and Fatal Injuries Profiles database queried by industry for Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting (GP2AFH), Accessed June 2013.

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