In late June, a Texas vegetable processor received $135,200 in fines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for endangering the lives of its temporary workers. Unfortunately, this is only one of many examples of OSHA citing employers for not protecting their temporary workers.
According to EHSToday, Dr. David Michaels, the Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA said the organization is focusing its efforts on protecting temporary workers. Interestingly, the temporary workforce is the fastest-growing sector in the economy.
Although it is great that jobs for temporary workers are booming, the fact is, these short-term employees are more likely to be injured or killed on the job. In 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that 16 percent of the 4,383 workplace fatalities involved temporary workers and contractors.
Why Are Temporary Workers More Likely to Be Killed or Injured on the Job?
Dr. Michaels says temporary workers are three to four times more likely to be killed or injured on the jobsite. There are a few reasons for this:
- Temporary workers are new to a workplace, and do not know many of the dangers.
- Temporary workers usually receive the most dangerous jobs.
- Employers are less likely to devote resources to train temporary workers.
It is important to remember that OSHA requires employers to ensure the health and safety of all employees, including temporary workers. Additionally, staffing agencies are responsible for the safety of temporary workers.
A big part of insuring the safety of a temporary worker is making sure they are trained to manage or prevent any dangers on the jobsite.
OSHA wants to prevent a worker death or injury before it happens. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. If you or a loved one has been injured while working, you may have claims to workers’ compensation. Contact an attorney to learn more about your options.
The Law Offices of Aaron Allison – Austin Workers’ Compensation Attorney