Are Temporary Workers at Greater Risk of Injury?

An article in a recent issue of the National Safety Council’s Safety+Health Magazine examined the on-the-job risk of injury or death to temporary or contract workers. According to the article, the Bureau of Labor Statistics defines a contract worker as one who is “employed by one firm but working at the behest of another firm that exercises overall responsibility for the operations at the site.”

The report highlighted BLS statistics that showed that of the 5,190 workplace fatalities in 2016, 856, or 16.5 percent, involved contract employees. Since 2012, contract employee deaths have remained just above 15 percent of total employee deaths at work. The number of contract workers in the country in comparison to regular employees is a bit unclear because of different methods of defining who is a contract worker. But using BLS figures, only about 3.8 percent of the workforce is in contingent, or temporary, jobs. What these statistics highlight is that temporary workers may be at greater risk for injury on the job. The industries where the majority of injuries and fatalities occur for all workers are construction, manufacturing, and transportation.

For a free consultation with a workers’ comp lawyer, contact Tucker Lawyers. Learn what benefits may be available for your case. Call (516) 399-2364 today.

Safety Challenges for Contract Workers

Workplace safety experts have identified various safety barriers that temporary workers face because of the very nature of being contract workers. Unfamiliarity with new workplaces is one of the issues. Not knowing what hazards there might be in a workplace environment can lead to accidents. Other issues that can lead to safety challenges include:

  • Employers who don’t treat temp workers the same as their regular employees. One NSC expert quoted in the article said “some employers may assign temp workers more dangerous or highly repetitive tasks to shift their workers’ compensation risk away from their permanent employees.”
  • Employers’ changing job assignments of temporary workers without consulting with the workers’ temporary staffing companies. Workers may find themselves performing work they are unfamiliar with that is potentially dangerous.
  • A lack of orientation, training, and sometimes even necessary protective equipment provided to temp workers.
  • The fear that some temp workers may feel to speak up for themselves because they are afraid of losing the job or they want to make a good impression to possibly gain a full-time position.

Fortunately, there are steps workers can take to protect themselves.

At Tucker Lawyers, we never back down when our clients deserve more!

Protecting Yourself as a Temp Worker

Both the NSC and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have put initiatives in place, directed at both staffing agencies and employers, to raise awareness and improve safety for temporary workers. However, these well-intended initiatives go only so far: staffing companies and host employers must pay attention to them and be willing to follow them.

Speaking up and protecting yourself as a temporary worker is also key. So what can you do?

Ask questions. When you sign up with a staffing agency, specifically ask the agency how they assure their workers’ safety. Ask about what kind of safety training you will receive from the employer and what to do if you are assigned a potentially dangerous job that you have not been adequately trained to perform. Be sure you have a contact at the staffing agency whom you can call to resolve issues if needed. Also, before you begin working with a staffing agency, ask them whether you will be covered under their workers’ compensation insurance should you be injured.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers You’re Looking For

We’ve got answers to common questions below. Please call us for more information.

What else can I do to protect myself?

Pay attention to red flags whenever searching for or taking on new employment. Make sure that any insurance concerns you have are resolved before accepting any employment. As a temporary worker, you may run into employers or staffing agencies that fail to carry appropriate workers’ comp insurance to save money. Although there are many jobs of this nature, especially in the construction or warehouse industries, they should be avoided for their lack of insurance coverage for accident injuries.

What kind of benefits does workers’ comp provide?

Workers’ comp provides medical coverage for on-the-job injuries. It also provides weekly wage-replacement payments for workers who are unable to work for a minimum period of time.

What compensation is available for on-the-job fatalities?

The surviving spouse, minor children, or other qualified dependents of workers who have been killed may be entitled to receive death benefits consisting of weekly cash payments.

Should I hire a work injury lawyer to help me with a workers’ compensation claim?

When the law is involved, it usually benefits someone to hire an attorney. For workers’ comp cases, an experienced attorney will fight to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation payout available to you under the law. Without an attorney, the insurance company or your employer may successfully reduce or deny your claim.

Do you have more questions about temporary workers or workers’ compensation? Give us a call for the answers you need.

Speak with a Work Injury Lawyer Today!

You Deserve to Know the Truth

If you’ve been hurt in a workplace accident, our experienced New York work injury attorneys and personal injury attorneys in Brooklyn at Tucker Lawyers PC are here to help you. 

Contact us today for a free consultation at (516) 399-2364. You deserve to know how much compensation you are entitled to.

john tucker

Managing Attorney John. J. Tucker, Esq.

John has personally handled thousands of clients who were victims of another’s negligence and fights relentlessly for their rights. John enjoys bringing closure to a client’s matter so that the injured party can move forward with their life. His background enables him to evaluate complex liability related claims and bring resolution to claims in a record time frame. [ Attorney Bio ]

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