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Temp workers face many safety issues

The job market in America is in recovery. Even so, there are many New Yorkers unable to find full-time employment or who are between jobs. When this happens, they may consider temporary work to make a living while they wait for something better to come along. A lot of these workers end up in blue-collar work environments with heavy machinery, great heights and overall high risk for injury.

According to MarketWatch, temp workers now end up at desk jobs less and less often. For instance, in Pennsylvania, just 21% of temp workers are employed in an office. In contrast, 45% of workers end up working jobs in manufacturing and transportation. They also receive lower pay than most other workers.

In addition to this, temporary workers may face even more dangers than usual. This may stem from poor communication between employers and staffing agencies. Subsequently, temp workers may face unsafe and unhealthy conditions. Even worse, they may not want to report these issues because they fear losing the job they need due to retaliation.

Forbes notes that OSHA has made some effort to protect temp workers, particularly in manufacturing. In 2013, it launched its temporary worker initiative. This holds both the staffing agency and employer jointly accountable for the temporary workers. OSHA aims to ensure the workers receive proper training and that they do not work in conditions that involve health and safety violations.

Still, many employers and staffing agencies find loopholes around this. As a result, temp workers often feel compelled to take full responsibility for not just their safety but the accidents that may occur.

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  • Walter J. Roesch IV
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