Adolescent occupational injuries in fast food restaurants: an examination of the problem from a national perspective

J Occup Environ Med. 1999 Dec;41(12):1146-53. doi: 10.1097/00043764-199912000-00021.


Work injuries to adolescents are most prevalent in the retail trades industry, with a large portion occurring in eating and drinking establishments (E&DEs). Data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System were examined for nonfatal injuries to adolescents, ages 14 through 17, injured while working in fast food restaurants (a subcategory of E&DEs) from July 1, 1992, to June 30, 1994. There were an estimated 44,765 adolescent injuries in E&DEs, with an estimated 27,997 in fast food restaurants, during this period. The injury rate for E&DEs in the 15 through 17 age group was higher than for all other industries combined (rate ratio [RR] = 1.7), with little disparity in rates between the sexes. This study identifies the fast food industry as the source of a large proportion of occupational injuries to adolescents, and indicates that task-specific risk factors seem to be strongly related to sex.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Health Services
  • Age Factors
  • Burns / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Occupational Health*
  • Restaurants*
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*