Workplace Injuries On The Rise For Temporary Employees
Numerous advocacy and news organizations have reported increasing numbers of reported on-the-job injuries suffered by temporary or seasonal workers, particularly those in blue-collar workplaces like factories, nonunion construction projects and warehouses. Since the so-called “Great Recession” began in 2007-2008, the numbers of temporary workers has steadily risen, and there are now nearly 3 million temps or seasonal workers around the country.
Many businesses use temporary labor so as to avoid the costs and “hassles” associated with providing health care benefits, dealing with unions, managing employee retirement plans or offering paid vacation and sick time. There are definitely different levels of danger for temporary workers, though, and there is no “one-size-fits-all” temporary position. For example, there is little danger that a temp in an office setting will be seriously injured on the job by a piece of heavy machinery or being exposed to a hazardous chemical, but those hazards are all too real in many blue-collar jobs such as those in factories or at construction sites.
Sadly, these workers, who need intensive safety and procedure guidance the most, are often untrained and ill-equipped to handle possible dangers they might encounter. That is likely why the rate of injury for temporary workers has steadily risen in recent years.
Why Are Temp Workers So Vulnerable?
Many companies view short-term workers and seasonal workers as “expendable,” meaning that they would rather devote their training and safety resources to their own employees. It may make more short-term financial sense to favor their own permanent employees, but the fact remains that a lack of training can result in seriously injured workers. A recent expose by advocacy group ProPublica reveals that the issue of temp worker injuries might even be worse than originally feared, and that many of those who have been hurt are not reporting their injuries.
Due to the nature of temp jobs, workers who are hurt on the job could be “black-listed” for simply seeking treatment or reporting their concerns to the company that placed them in the position. Also, many states don’t keep data on temporary workers’ job-related injuries. In addition, there are often disputes between the company receiving the benefit of labor provided by seasonal and temporary workers and the staffing agency as to whose workers’ compensation insurance is responsible for the medical expenses of an injured temporary worker.
Have you been hurt on the job as a temporary or seasonal worker? Has a loved one suffered a catastrophic injury or been killed performing duties at a short-term workplace? Do you have questions about workers’ compensation benefits and medical treatment for such an injury? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” seriously consider seeking the advice of a workers’ compensation attorney in your area to learn more information about legal rights and options that may be at your disposal to get the benefits you need and deserve.