According to ProPublica, temp work agreements are a growing trend since 2008. There are approximately 2.8 million temp workers across the U.S., many of them working in blue collar jobs, such as at construction sites and in factories. For employers, temp workers offer many benefits. They can be hired without having to pay for workers compensation, unemployment tax, and other benefits. They can also be hired and fired very easily, often through temp agencies that can hire teams of workers at a time. In fact, according to ProPublica, some employers are replacing full-time jobs with teams of temps who can be ferried into the workplace each day.
The problem, however, is that these workers are not protected by workers compensation and other benefits – even though there is evidence to suggest that temp workers are more at risk of work injuries in Hollywood and other communities when compared to full-time workers.
According to ProPublica, temp workers in Florida and California had a 50% greater chance of workplace injuries compared to non-temp workers. In Minnesota, temp workers faced a 72% higher risk of on the job injury. What’s worse is that in many cases temp workers are being hired in risky industries such as warehousing and manufacturing, where their risk of injury is even higher. In Florida blue-collar industries, temps were six time more likely to be injured in a workplace accident when compared with full-time workers in similar populations. ProPublica reports that Florida temp workers in these types of jobs were twice as likely to suffer from severe injuries such as punctures, dislocations, crushing injuries, lacerations, and fractures when compared with permanent workers. Temp workers in the state also had three times the risk of sustaining an amputation at work when compared with permanent workers.
According to ProPublica and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), part of the problem is that temp workers in blue-collar jobs are often not given the same safety training as permanent employees, and this puts them at risk. Temp work is also not highly regulated, even in dangerous jobs. This makes it easier for these workers to be involved in dangerous situations that lead to injury. In addition, when injuries do occur temp workers are not covered by workers compensation in Homestead or other benefits, so sometimes insurance disputes in Homestead and other communities occur when temp workers are injured. The company may say the temp agency is responsible while the temp agency may blame the company. In some cases, these disputes can even delay medical treatment for the patient who has sustained a serious injury such as a brain injury in a Homestead or Florida workplace.
In many cases, temp agencies end up paying for workers compensation for tem workers and this creates another problem: according to some safety experts, it places less pressure on companies to provide a safe workplace. If a number of permanent workers are injured in a construction site accident in Homestead, the company responsible for the construction site will face higher insurance premiums and may be held liable. This ensures that employers are pressured into providing safe workplaces. Even with multiple temp worker injuries, however, companies may not face increased costs and insurance premiums, so there is little financial incentive to change.
In the past five years, there are reports that the number of temp workers filing claims in Florida and other states have been on the rise, even as the workplace injury rates overall have been falling. As non-traditional jobs become more important, lawmakers have been trying to pass laws to protect these employees, but so far traditional workers have the most protection.
Do you need legal advice after a workplace accident? Contact Flaxman Law Group today for a free consultation.