Temporary labor continues to be prevalent throughout California and continues to rise nationwide. An assessment of workplace injury data performed by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that temporary employees suffer on-the-job accidents and injuries more often than those who are permanently employed.
Research published by ProPublica also supported this finding with figures that showed that temporary laborers faced injury rates twice as high as people in permanent positions. The research focused on severe injuries in which workers were crushed, broke bones or suffered punctures and lacerations.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, roughly 17 million people in 2013 filled positions designated as temporary. Confusion about whether the contracting employer or staffing agency was responsible for safety and hazard training has been mentioned as one of the potential reasons for the higher rate of injury. As an industry, staffing agencies are beginning to seek best practices to reduce injury rates. For example, a regional manager for Kelly Services explained that said staffing companies should partner with client companies to determine safety training needs and perform quarterly assessments. Ongoing training about workplace hazards should also take place.
The manufacturing, commercial and service industries were found to have the most injury claims. Common sources of accidents included scaffolding and ladder falls and forklift accidents. In any workplace injury for a temporary worker, the person would typically have workers' compensation insurance through the staffing company. Insurance companies have strict requirements, and a claim would need to be made within a designated time frame along with documentation. Sometimes a person seeks advice from an attorney about how to apply for benefits. An attorney might also be able to explain to a worker what types of benefits are available because this is not always made clear by an employer.
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