The concept of staffing through the use of temporary employees has grown in Pennsylvania and elsewhere since the 2008 economic downturn, employing at the end of 2013 some 2.8 million people. However, reports abound regarding workplace injury suffered by blue-collar temp workers. A recent analysis of these employees’ claims for workers’ compensation showed that in five states, temporary employees in factories and other industrial work sites faced a much greater risk of injury than did the same industries’ workers in the same locations.
The five states can be ranked in order of the greater work injury risk to temps than to permanent employees. Minnesota topped the list, with temps facing injuries 72 percent more of the time than others. Oregon was reported at 66 percent. California and Florida tied at 50 percent, and Massachusetts, although offering the least extra risk of the five states, still had temporary employees looking at injuries 36 percent more of the time than workers with permanent status.
The figures imply that this discrepancy may arise because more temps are hired for dangerous work in factories or warehouses than for less risky jobs. Injuries sustained at those workplaces can be severe. According to the data, temps in Florida were twice as likely to be crushed, get cut, suffer broken bones or be punctured on the job. They were also shown to be three times as likely to sustain an injury at work necessitating amputation.
Workers’ compensation may be available after a work accident. In the event of an unsafe working environment, OSHA penalties may be assessed. Greater financial compensation for severe workplace injuries might be sought in a court of law.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Temp Work Isn’t Only Insecure — It’s More Dangerous Too“, Michael Grabell, Olga Pierce, Jeff Larson, December 18, 2013