In recent years, there has been a growing use of temporary workers in many jobs. A report in 2013 estimated that as many as 17 million workers were engaged in some type of temporary work, which pushed the use of these types of workers to the highest level ever.
The jobs may be classified as temporary, contract, long-term temp or some types of freelance and they differ from the virtual life-time employment that was once standard throughout many industries in Illinois and the U.S. In those days, a worker could be hired out of high school and retire 40 years later from the same company.
Temporary workers are seen as a major cost saver for many businesses, as they can eliminate the risk of long-term employment and eliminate the need for health coverage. But temporary work carries other costs. Most are not officer workers, and almost three-fourths are employed in manufacturing and other hazardous industries.
Because of the nature of short-term employment, there is a greater risk of injury in the workplace to those temporary workers.
They may suffer greater injuries because they both lack experience with the safety protocols of many jobs and because employers and their staffing agencies may fail to properly delegate the necessary training required to bring a temporary worker into full workplace safety compliance in a new job setting.
Some companies may believe they can “offshore” all of these regulations to the staffing agency and that agency may believe it is not their responsibility to provide safety training for an job site’s unique hazards. In the end, it is the worker that suffers the injury.
And sadly, as much as businesses complain about regulation, there is probably an insufficient amount of regulations in place for these types of workers.
Occupational Health & Safety magazine, “Temp Work More Hazardous, Research Shows,” June 11, 2015