Temporary Work Results In Lasting Danger
For much of today’s workforce, attaining a job in the current economy is a challenge. Many are pleased just to secure work through a temporary employment agency.
However, according to The Epoch Times, temporary employment can result in serious, lasting injuries. The report recounts the tragic story of a Florida man who was thrilled to finally get his first “real job,” albeit with a “temp” agency. He was working at a liquor bottling facility, and was so excited for the opportunity, that he sent a phone picture of himself in his new uniform, to his fiancée. The man tragically never finished his shift that day, as he was crushed underneath 60 cases of alcohol, weighing 2,000 pounds.
The Epoch Times’ report refers to “blue collar temp work” as the “fastest-growing and more dangerous segments of the U.S. labor market,” explaining that in the years following the 2008 recession, companies seeking employees to work in factories and warehouses, and on construction sites, have increasingly filled those spots with temporary employees. The temporary employment industry is now comprised of over 2.8 million workers. Factory, warehouse and construction jobs are not surprisingly among the most dangerous, and often result in injuries to workers.
According to the report, millions of workers’ compensation claims were reviewed across five states that make up more than a fifth of the U.S. population. The results of the study indicated that permanent employees were less likely to be injured on the job. Risk of injury to temporary workers was significantly higher, particularly in California and Florida, where the statistics indicated that temps were 50 percent more likely to be injured than regular employees. In some states, the study found that temporary workers were between two and three times more likely to suffer from “crushing injuries, dislocations, lacerations, fractures, punctures and amputations.” Many are even killed on their first day on the job.
The study that produced the harrowing findings also involved interviews with temporary workers and a review of various Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigations. The result indicated that a lack of training for jobs that were described as “particularly dangerous” was often to blame. Among the findings produced were laborers who were “asphyxiated while cleaning the inside of chemical tanks, caught in heavy machinery such as food grinders and tire shredders, and afflicted by heat stroke after a long day on a garbage truck or roof.”
While the study focused on certain states, findings were not available for workers in New York State, because workers’ compensation records do not distinguish between temporary and permanent workers in New York. What was apparent is the fact that companies often turn to the use of temporary workers, because the temp agency is usually responsible for the workers’ compensation claim for injured temporary workers. The work site, where the danger lies, and where the injury takes place, is conveniently shielded from liability.
Still, the law in New York State may allow you to recover on a traditional personal injury lawsuit, in addition to your workers’ compensation claim, depending on the nature of your employment, and other factors. If you have been injured on the job, contact an experienced work injury attorney to assist you in obtaining the recovery you deserve.