Temp Workers Suffer Twice The Injuries

Temp workers have double the accidents and serious injuries compared to permanent employees. Hear a government agency’s solution to this alarming trend.

Many more people are taking temporary work, often out of necessity due to the economy. Companies are offering more temporary positions. The National Institute For Occupational Safety And Health, NIOSH, points out this trend is expected to continue.

Employers and temp agencies share the responsibility of training workers, but often, neither do. This puts the temporary worker in a hazardous situation.

Listen for NIOSH’s prescription for reversing this increasing injury statistic. Dan Clark reviews the agency’s recent statement. See the transcript below for a link to the full text.



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Dan Clark: Temp workers are injured on the job twice as often as regular workers. Did you hear that? Injured on the job twice as often!


We’ll find out in a moment.

Hello, I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief, tackling health and safety hazards in today’s demanding industrial and construction worksites, a service of Creative Safety Supply.

Good news. I put the owners in a headlock. Now you can buy anything at creativesafetysupply.com and earn 10% off. Use coupon code BIG10.


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Want to get hurt on the job? Become a temporary worker.

Statistically, temps have the biggest odds of severe injury. The National Institute For Occupational Safety And Health, NIOSH, just posted their research.

Temporary work positions have soared in recent years. You can call them contingent workers, contract workers, long-term temps, workers in dual-employer situations, or on-demand freelance.

Whatever you call them, people have been taking these jobs for many reasons. Mostly because of the economy and the need to take part-time work.

I thought the lion’s share of temp workers would be in offices. I was wrong. 28% work in clerical and administrative positions.

Temporary workers by sector in 2014 – The American Staffing Association

INDUSTRY makes the biggest use of temp workers. 37% of the total US temporary workforce is in manufacturing and other hazardous industries. So, there’s part of the reason. More risk.

In the state of Washington, a survey shows that temporary workers also have low information. They are less likely to get pre-assignment screenings. Less likely to get safety training. Less likely to get safety equipment. Why?

NIOSH says that the two entities involved in hiring a worker—the employer and the temporary placement agency—often point the finger at each other on who’s responsible for complying with health and safety standards. This leaves the temp worker—often young and mostly uninformed—without an advocate. A worker at greater risk of injury.

To reverse this trend, NIOSH refers to the advice of The York Companies, who developed a collaborative culture of safety. Six of their best practices include:

1. Safety must be a priority to senior management.

2. Provide continual training at all levels.

3. Participate in “captive insurance” for workers compensation. Now, this is an arrangement under some states’ workers comp systems where a group of staffing agencies share the risk.

4. Partner with client companies to clearly delineate co-employment of workers.

5. Perform pre-agreement and quarterly safety evaluations of client companies and temporary worker job functions.

6. Conduct an in-depth analysis of every incident and accident.

Will it get better before it gets worse? NIOSH says this increase in temporary employment is expected to continue. Workers, beware!

That’s all for this episode, Temp Workers Suffer Twice The Injuries. Come back for more ways to stay safety compliant in today’s ever-changing landscape of safety requirements. I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief, a service of Creative Safety Supply. Save 10% off your entire order at creativesafetysupply.com with coupon code BIG10.


cranberries image by USDA / Keith_Weller
staffing sector pie chart © ℗ 2015 American Staffing Association

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