Temporary employment positions, also known as temp jobs, have been on the rise since the recession in 2008. They are considered a cost-effective way for businesses, particularly those that need workers for construction sites, warehouses and factories to staff positions.
The current temp workforce is estimated at 2.8 million nationally, and a recent study conducted by ProPublica shows that those workers may be more likely to incur on-the-job injuries than those in similar permanent positions. In some states, the risk of injury was up to 72 percent more for a temp worker than a permanent employee. It is also more likely for an injured worker to suffer serious injuries like fractures, severe cuts, puncture wounds and dislocations.
The problem seems to be particularly prevalent in blue-collar jobs where temps are given little training before being sent out to jobs that have an increased danger component. There are countless examples of temp workers being hurt on the job, and some workers report that shortcuts taken by companies are partly to blame, like providing poor to nonexistent training. One example of this is an allegation against one company where an employee reported that the safety instructor gave workers the answers to the test.
When a temp employee is injured at the workplace, it can be the beginning of a tedious, difficult attempt to get any medical expenses that are incurred paid. The company and the temp agency may try to determine who is responsible for the payment.
All employees, whether they hold temporary jobs or permanent positions, should have safe working conditions, access to proper training and safety equipment, and their expenses paid for any on-the-job injuries. As more cases come forward, policies and procedures may be implemented to keep all workers as safe as possible while performing their duties. Those who do get injured on the job and incur lost wages or medical expenses may find it helpful to discuss their situations with a Chicago workers' compensation attorney.
Source: Huffington Post, "Temp Work Isn't Only Insecure -- It's More Dangerous Too" Michael Grabell, Olga Pierce and Jeff Larson, Dec. 18, 2013