Temporary Workers Are More Likely to Sustain Occupational Injuries Than Their Permanent Counterparts
March 5, 2023
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has long reported that temporary workers face significantly higher risks for incurring injuries on the job than permanent, non-temporary employees do. Despite the safety discrepancies, employers are equally responsible for providing a safe work environment free from recognized hazards to all workers, no matter if they work full-time or hold contracted, short-term positions.
Why Do Temporary Workers Incur Greater Risks?
OSHA requires both host employers and staffing agencies to uphold the many protections that promote the safety and health of temporary workers. Although both entities are equally responsible for protecting workers, temporary employees continue to incur greater injury rates than their permanently employed counterparts. Much of this may result from the confusion that staffing agencies and host employers tend to have when it comes to which entity bears responsibility for maintaining these essential occupational standards, despite OSHA clearly laying out the rules.
There are several other reasons for the variety of preventable safety issues that temporary workers face, including:
- Temporary workers are usually new on a job or jobsite, which is a known contributor to occupational injuries and illnesses
- Temporary workers tend to be younger than permanent workers. Young workers sustain more injuries than older workers
- Temporary workers are less likely to provide proper and adequate training before initiating a job, regardless of how new they are to it or how dangerous the job may be
- Host employers or staffing agencies may not provide temporary workers with the personal protective equipment, or PPE, that they need
- Host employers may require temporary employees to perform tasks they are not familiar – or not comfortable – with performing. This can cause them to be at a greater risk for sustaining avoidable injuries
How To Protect Temporary Employees
Host employers must remember to treat temporary workers the same as all other employees, affording them the same safeguards and protections as anyone else on the jobsite. In addition, OSHA requires staffing agencies and host employers to uphold other key responsibilities, like:
- Staffing agencies must provide workers with general safety training prior to initiating a job. Once the temporary employee is at the job, federal guidelines require the host employer to provide job-specific training
- There must be open, clear communication between the staffing agency and the host employer
- Just like the employer must recognize and remedy recognizable workplace hazards, the staffing agency, too, must educate itself on any potential work-associated hazards that temporary employees can encounter
- The staffing agency must verify the safety of any workplace that they consider sending temporary employees to before completing any subsequent job placements
- Staffing agencies must confirm that the host employer has fulfilled its duty to provide a safe and healthful workplace
When Should a Temporary Worker Talk to a Lawyer About His or Her Injuries?
Although some staffing agencies and host employers honor their legal responsibility to maintain the numerous federal safety and health standards that pertain to temporary and contract employees, too many neglect their duties to make a quick buck. Not only is this behavior unethical, but it is also illegal. When a worker sustains injuries or becomes ill on the job, he or she is eligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides injured workers with medical benefits and wage replacement.
At Galfand Berger, our attorneys are well-versed in representing injured workers. We have represented victims of unsafe and unhealthy workplaces for decades. Here are just a few examples of our firm’s notable workers’ compensation recoveries:
- Senior Partner Richard Jurewicz obtained one of the largest pre-suit settlements ever in Lebanon County, PA. Our client, a masonry worker, sustained an electrical shock and burns when the boom of his aerial lift accidentally came into contact with a telephone wire next to a residential home that he was working on. Rick and his legal team successfully resolved this matter for $1.75 million to our client.
- Our client, a truck driver, sustained serious and debilitating back injuries after being rear-ended by a tractor-trailer on an interstate highway in central Pennsylvania. Due to his injuries, our client was unable to return to his previous job commercially driving. Our attorneys Gabriela Raful and Michael Malvey were able to recover a total of $820,000 in personal compensation and workers’ compensation benefits for our injured client.
If you were injured at work and are a temporary or contracted employee who has questions about filing for workers’ compensation benefits, someone at our firm can help. Contact a representative online now.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP, Representing Injured Victims Since 1947
If you have questions about filing a claim for injuries you sustained, contact the Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP today. Call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Allentown and Harrisburg.