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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Rutgers: Study Examines Reported Injury, Hospitalization, and Injury Fatality Rates Among New Jersey Adolescent Workers

A recent Rutgers School of Public Health study, in collaboration with the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH), suggests that among adolescent workers ages 14–21, hospitalization and fatality rates are highest among those in the oldest age group (ages 19 and 21).

About 80 percent of adolescents have worked in at least one job prior to their high school graduation. Injuries at work are a public health concern, particularly among working adolescents. Injuries contribute to myriad of potential issues, including temporary and permanent disabilities, reduced quality of life, increased fatality risk, and increased healthcare expenditure. The study compared available NJDOH data, which covers worker injury inside and outside of school sponsored programs, and New Jersey Safe Schools (NJ SS) Program, on injuries among young workers ages 14–21 years. Data included the NJ SS online injury surveillance system, which covers secondary school students ages 14–21 in New Jersey approved career-technical-vocational education.

There were 651 adolescent work-related injury cases identified using New Jersey Hospital Data from 2007 to 2016. The NJ SS online injury surveillance system identified 772 reported youth school-sponsored work-related injuries during the same time period.

“Understanding injury disparities among affected groups, can inform and improve public health prevention efforts,” said Mr. Daniel Uhiara, a recent Department of Epidemiology graduate.

The research team also included Drs. Derek Shendell, Judith Graber, and Koshy Koshy from Rutgers and Drs. Marija Borjan and Margaret Lumia of NJDOH, who are also alumni from the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health.

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