Measuring hazardous work and identifying risk factors for non-fatal injuries among children working in Philippine agriculture


  • Charita L. Castro PhD, MSW,

    Corresponding author
    1. Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, US Department of Labor, Washington, District of Columbia
    • Chief of Research and Policy Division, Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking Bureau of International Labor Affairs, US Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, S-5317, Washington, DC 20210.
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  • Prof. Katherine Hunting PhD, MPH

    1. Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health and Health Services, The George Washington University, Washington, District of Columbia
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  • Disclosure Statement: The authors report no conflicts of interests.

  • The views and interpretations in this paper are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of the US Department of Labor.



Global consensus is lacking, especially among developing countries, on whether agricultural work is detrimental to children's health and safety. We aimed to measure the degree to which Philippine children working in agriculture have a higher risk of injury compared with children working in other industries, and to uncover potential risk factors for their non-fatal injuries.


Using the Philippine Survey of Children (SOC) 2001, we calculated injury incidence rates and relative risk measures across industries, and employed a multivariate logistic regression on the sample of working children in agriculture to ascertain the association of various exposures with the occurrence of work-related injuries.


Children working in agriculture had a fivefold risk of non-fatal injury compared to children working in other industries. Logistic regression indicated that the most robust risk factor for the occurrence of non-fatal injury was the use of tools (OR = 3.12).


The results of this study demonstrate agriculture to be a hazardous industry for children. Further research should focus on identifying the most dangerous tools and restricting their use. Am. J. Ind. Med. 56:709–719, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.