Industrial Accidents to Working Minors, ca. February 1925



U.S. Department of Labor

For immediate release.


7,478 industrial accidents to young workers under 21 years of age occurred in one year in three States, according to a study just completed by the Children's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor.

Thirty-eight of these accidents resulted in death and 920 in partial disablement for life.

Wisconsin, Massachusetts and New Jersey were the States included in the study. The cases of industrial accidents to minors were secured from the files of State Industrial Commissions and Accident Boards and were only those in which compensation had been paid: that is, in Wisconsin, accidents causing disability of more than 7 days duration; in Massachusetts and New Jersey, accidents causing disability of more than 10 days duration.

The smallest number of accidents and the lowest accident rate occurred in the case of children under 16. Each of the States studied had attempted to protect children under this age by prohibiting them from employment in certain occupations, chiefly in the operation of the more dangerous machinery, which is the source of greatest accident hazard to the young worker.

Children of 16 and 17 were prohibited from some employments in Massachusetts and Wisconsin but in all three States were permitted to operate many of the [dangerous] machines.

Accident figures reflected this difference in legal protection. Power-working machinery caused a larger percentage of the accidents to the 16 and 17 year olds than to children under 16 -- protected by law -- or to young workers between 18 and 21 -- better able to protect themselves.

Accidents were also more serious to the 16- and 17-year group than to either the younger or older workers. Of the injuries to workers under 16, 10.7 [percent] resulted in death or partial disablement for life. For those 16 and 17 years old who were injured, the rate was 13.4 [percent] killed or permanently disabled; for the group 18-21 years the rate was 12.7 [percent].

Item Relations


Allowed tags: <p>, <a>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, <li>