Temporary workers in Colorado have the same rights as permanent workers when it comes to being provided with safe workplace environments. However, recent research indicates that temporary workers nationwide are more exposed to workplace injury than full-time workers. In collaboration with other authorities, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the National Occupational Research Agenda conducted research into the frequency of on-the-job injuries and the claims filed by temporary workers.
The number of workers in temporary positions across the employment spectrum in the United States in 2013 was estimated at 17 million, exceeding the numbers of all previous years. NIOSH says these workers face double the risk of severe workplace injuries. It is anticipated that the trend of companies employing more temporary workers will continue, and three industry groups have been identified as the sources of most injury claims. Those are commercial, manufacturing and services.
Researchers have identified the intricacies of arrangements and the vagueness surrounding the responsibilities of staffing agencies and their clients as the source of some of the risks related to the safety of temporary workers. The injuries that are most prevalent in claims include broken bones, punctures, lacerations and crushing incidents. This is reportedly evidence of the fact that — in many cases — temporary workers are not entirely informed of the hazards they may face in their new environments.
Among other potential remedies for the dire situation, the work group determined that it is vital for staff agencies and their clients to collaborate and ensure workers are familiar with the host companies’ safety systems. This must include general procedure training in personal protective equipment, hazard communication, ergonomics and lockout/tagout procedures. Active cooperation between all parties may decrease the number of Colorado families that have to rely on workers’ compensation benefits to meet their financial obligations after workplace injury incidents.
Source: ohsonline.com, “Temp Work More Hazardous, Research Shows“, June 17, 2015