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New research: workplace injury higher for temporary staff

The number of temporary workers in the United States seems to be on the rise.  It is estimated that in 2013, 17 million people were employed in temporary positions across the U.S, including Tennessee. At the same time, current research shows that temporary staff has a much higher chance of suffering a workplace injury than permanent workers.

Employing workers in temporary positions involves complex arrangements and has led to a situation where a certain amount of uncertainty regarding complying with the standards for health and safety exists. Two studies, one done in 2008 and another in 2013, have both shown that the risk of severe workplace injury increases, and even doubles, when a person is employed in a temporary position. Injuries pointed out include broken bones, lacerations, puncture wounds and crushing accidents.

The study also showed that in certain industries claim rates are lower for permanent staff than for temporary staff. Differences were noticeable in industries relating to construction, machine and vehicle operation, manufacturing, and services.  However, companies can decrease the risk for their temporary workers by increasing awareness of health and safety standards. In this regard, training plays an important role.

Workplace injuries are very often life-changing and may lead to an inability to work. A temporary worker in Tennessee who has suffered a workplace injury may elect to file workers' compensation claims against his or her employer. Damages awarded in a successful workers' compensation claim may assist the injured worker in meeting associated expenses, such as medical and rehabilitation costs, as well as loss of income.

Source: ohsonline.com, "Temp Work More Hazardous, Research Shows", June 17, 2015

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