- BACKGROUND: The severity of non-fatal work-related injuries has seldom been examined among young workers. We estimated the extent and distribution of workdays lost due to non-fatal work injuries using compensation data. METHODS: Data are from the Brazilian Institute of Social Insurance, for 2006. The study population is comprised of all insured workers of age 16-24. Descriptive statistics reflect workdays lost due to health-related disability, according to sex, age group, wage, and trade. RESULTS: Out of 4.8 million insured workers ages 16-24 years, we estimated 1,282,940 workdays lost. We observed a larger number of median workdays lost among males age 20-24 in retail and service trades (83 days) and among 16-19-year-old females in the agriculture/fish/forestry/cattle (142 days). CONCLUSIONS: Young workers experience a heavy burden of work-related injuries. Disability workdays may compromise school attendance and performance. Other potential impacts affect productivity and social insurance costs.