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Temporary Workers May Face Higher Risk of Workplace Accidents in Coral Gables and Other Communities

According to Sarah Paoletti of the University of Pennsylvania’s Transnational Law Center, seasonal, migrant, and temporary workers are more vulnerable to injuries on the job when compared with permanent, traditional employees. Due to the precarious position that temporary workers have in the workplace, Paoletti has found that they are also less likely than permanent workers to get adequate medical help or to report unsafe work conditions. In some cases, according to Paoletti and a 2005 Human Rights Watch study, the problem is that temporary or migrant workers are undocumented residents in the country, and they fear criminal proceedings or immigration issues if they step forward.

Even documented temporary workers, however, are at risk. One issue is that in many cases they are hired through companies such as staffing agencies. In the event of an accident at work – such as an on-the-job slip and fall accident in Coral Gables or another community, for example – the employer can claim that the staffing company did not screen the employee correctly or did not provide adequate safety precautions or training.

Another issue is that temporary and migrant workers often do not have a strong support system within a workplace and may feel less able to speak out about safety situations. Since the temporary worker may be less familiar with a workplace than someone who has been there for some time, this can also cause problems. If someone sustains a head injury in Coral Gables or another community, for example, they may not have strong support systems in the workplace to turn to and may not know who to report the injury to. The company may even blame the injury on the worker’s lack of familiarity with the workplace.

In many cases, migrant workers and temporary workers are hired in higher-risk industries – including on construction sites, in agricultural settings, in factories, and in other settings where injuries are common. Yet, if a migrant or temporary worker is injured in a construction site in Coral Gables or another setting, they may not necessarily qualify or be able to collect workers compensation claims in Coral Gables or their communities. They may have a hard time collecting compensation for their injuries if the company blames the staffing agencies or if there are underlying immigration issues.

Even the federal agency looking out for workplace safety — the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) – cannot always intervene. The organization has no powers of prosecution. They can visit companies that violate safety standards, they can educate workers about their rights, they can issue fines and citations, but they have little additional recourse to stop companies known for endangering workers. Even OSHA citations and fines can be – and often are — challenged by companies violating safety standards.


According to Sarah Paoletti of the University of Pennsylvania’s Transnational Law Center, seasonal, migrant, and temporary workers are more vulnerable to injuries on the job when compared with permanent, traditional employees. Due to the precarious position that temporary workers have in the workplace, Paoletti has found that they are also less likely than permanent workers to get adequate medical help or to report unsafe work conditions. In some cases, according to Paoletti and a 2005 Human Rights Watch study, the problem is that temporary or migrant workers are undocumented residents in the country, and they fear criminal proceedings or immigration issues if they step forward.
Even documented temporary workers, however, are at risk. One issue is that in many cases they are hired through companies such as staffing agencies. In the event of an accident at work – such as an on-the-job slip and fall accident in Coral Gables or another community, for example – the employer can claim that the staffing company did not screen the employee correctly or did not provide adequate safety precautions or training.
Another issue is that temporary and migrant workers often do not have a strong support system within a workplace and may feel less able to speak out about safety situations. Since the temporary worker may be less familiar with a workplace than someone who has been there for some time, this can also cause problems. If someone sustains a head injury in Coral Gables or another community, for example, they may not have strong support systems in the workplace to turn to and may not know who to report the injury to. The company may even blame the injury on the worker’s lack of familiarity with the workplace.
In many cases, migrant workers and temporary workers are hired in higher-risk industries – including on construction sites, in agricultural settings, in factories, and in other settings where injuries are common. Yet, if a migrant or temporary worker is injured in a construction site in Coral Gables or another setting, they may not necessarily qualify or be able to collect workers compensation claims in Coral Gables or their communities. They may have a hard time collecting compensation for their injuries if the company blames the staffing agencies or if there are underlying immigration issues.
Even the federal agency looking out for workplace safety — the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) – cannot always intervene. The organization has no powers of prosecution. They can visit companies that violate safety standards, they can educate workers about their rights, they can issue fines and citations, but they have little additional recourse to stop companies known for endangering workers. Even OSHA citations and fines can be – and often are — challenged by companies violating safety standards.