1) Agriculture: field work and processing. Called the most dangerous industry for young workers, agriculture accounted for 42 percent of all work-related fatalities of young workers between 1992 and 2000. According to the U.S. Department of Laborâ€™s Bureau of Labor Statistics, among young agricultural workers aged 15-17, the risk of fatal injury is four times the risk for young workers in other workplaces.
2) Construction and work in heights. This category is the third-leading cause of death among young workers. According to NIOSH, youth 15-17 years of age working in construction had greater than seven times the risk for fatal injury as youth in other industries, and greater than twice the risk of workers 25-44 years of age working in construction.
3) Outside helper: landscaping, groundskeeping and lawn service. This type of work often involves the use of dangerous power tools, as well as pesticides, fertilizers and other hazardous chemicals. While fatality numbers are low, recent anecdotal evidence indicates that young workers are using tools and equipment that are prohibited for their use and are being injured as a result.
4) Driver/operator of forklifts, tractors and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) . Increasingly, tractors are being used in non-agricultural environments, with resulting injuries and fatalities to young workers. Persons under the age of 16 were the victims of 38 percent of all reported ATV-related deaths for all ages between 1982 and 2001.
5) Traveling youth crews. Recruited to sell candy, magazine subscriptions and other items door-to-door or on street corners, children as young as ten years-old often work after dark, under dangerous conditions and unsupervised by adults. Hazards include questionable transportation as well as crew leaders with criminal convictions and behavior.
NCL compiles the five worst teen jobs each year using government statistics and reports, results from the Child Labor Coalitionâ€™s annual survey of state labor departments, and news accounts of injuries and deaths.