Temporary workers more likely to suffer workplace injuries

Temporary workers are more likely to be involved in a workplace accident, according to a new study by the Chicago School of Public Health. The risk for temp workers may only increase as more temp workers are used by U.S. companies.

Temp workers have substantially increased during the last 20 years. In 1990, there were roughly 1.1.million temp workers. In 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there were 2.54 million temp workers.

More companies are hiring temporary workers because of the financial benefits, which include the ability to hire more workers when the workload is higher but not having to offer health insurance or workers’ compensation benefits to these employees.

The increase in temp workers throughout the country has caused some concern among workplace safety advocates because studies have found that temp workers face more safety hazards and are more likely to be involved in a workplace accident. This is because many temp workers are hired to do the most hazardous positions within a company because they are more difficult to fill. Also, if an injury does occur, the company is not responsible for paying their workers’ compensation benefits.

Temp workers are paid by the staffing agency that placed them at the job and the staffing agency is responsible for providing workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. Researchers found that because companies do not have to pay for the temp workers’ compensation insurance, they do not worry as much about temp workers being in an accident or being injured at work.

They also found that many companies do not properly train temp workers for their position because the workers are usually only working there for a short amount of time and temp work usually has a high turnover rate.

Workers, regardless of being temporary or permanent employees, are entitled to workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania. Workers who have been injured in a workplace accident should consult a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible to discuss their case as they may be entitled to compensation for their medical injuries and distress.

Source: MSN, “Temp employees more likely to succumb to workplace hazards,” Jim Morris, Jan. 6, 2013

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