Temporary Workers: Injury Risks

In the United States, there are currently more than 2.8 million temporary workers.  Employers turn to temporary workers seem to deal with a significantly greater risk of getting injured on the job compared to permanent employees. A new study found many temporary workers lost their lives on the job – sometimes their first day on the job – due to inexperience and lack of training.

Companies Use Temporary Workers to Cut Costs

Throughout the United States, many temporary workers are more likely to find jobs in dangerous occupations, such as manufacturing and warehousing.  The more workers are injured on the job, the higher the company’s insurance premiums will be. By hiring temporary  laborers for risky jobs, many factories and manufacturers are able to avoid these costs. Temporary workers also often must pay more for health insurance and do not receive benefits from the company they are performing labor for.

According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA),  it is not uncommon for temporary workers to receive inadequate training, even on dangerous equipment. OSHA has also discovered some temp agencies deduct the cost of safety gear from employees’ paychecks, which in turn may cause workers to forego the use of safety equipment.

A Look at the Numbers

In California and Florida, temps had about 50% greater risk of being injured on the job, when compared to non-temps. The risk was 365 higher in Massachusetts, 66% in Oregon and 72% in Minnesota.

Let’s take a closer look at some particularly alarming findings regarding severe on-the-job injuries: In Florida, temporary workers were about twice as likely as regular employees to suffer crushing injuries, dislocations, lacerations, fractures and punctures. They were also about three times as likely to suffer an amputation on the job in Florida.

According to a new report  from OSHA, employers’ are increasingly relying on temporary workers.  Read more here about why this trend is so dangerous to our workforce.