Injuries and illnesses to children in commercial fishing in Alaska: A brief report

Josie M. Rudolphi, Richard L. Berg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Commercial fishing is the most hazardous occupation in the United States. While the epidemiology of adult injuries and fatalities are well documented, injuries to children (<18 years old) are not described. The purpose of this report was to describe the characteristics of nonfatal injuries to children involved in commercial fishing. Methods: Nonfatal commercial fishing injuries to children were identified in the Alaska Fishermen's Fund. The Alaska Fishermen's Fund is an emergency fund payor of last resort. Data on nonfatal injuries to victims aged 17 or younger were analyzed. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize demographics and injury characteristics. Results: Forty-four nonfatal child injury claims were made between 2012 and 2016. The mean age at the time of claim was 15.6 years (SD = 1.8) and 84% were male. The most common types of injuries among children were sprains and strains and the most commonly injured body parts were upper extremities and the trunk. Most injuries occurred in salmon fisheries. Conclusions: Children are participating in commercial fishing. Based on the results of this analysis, children are also experiencing occupational injuries. The results of this analysis underscore the need for additional safety and health information, guidance for supervisors, and intervention to prevent injuries to children participating in commercial fishing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)398-402
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Volume64
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021

Keywords

  • children
  • commercial fishing
  • injury
  • occupational safety and health
  • prevention
  • youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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