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A Look at How to Protect Temp Workers from On-The-Job Injury

A recent article in Staffing Industry Analysts examines how companies can effectively share the responsibility of keeping temporary workers safe.  In this case, we are talking about sharing the responsibility for worker safety between the temporary employment staffing agency and the company that uses the temporary workers on their projects.

workIt should be noted that in today’s economy, there are many different types of temp jobs.  While we often think of office workers and retail help, we are now seeing temp workers being used in factory settings on a regular basis.  For example, it is not uncommon for a company to use a staffing company to provide a welder when one is needed. While either full-time workers or independent contractors typically did this, the recession that began in 2007 resulted in a lot of these workers being laid off, and, when the economy rebounded, many of these jobs were transitioned into what temp agency work and what is being called the on-demand economy.  This creates a situation where the workers are employers of the temp agency and not the company who is using the temp workers.

However, one thing to keep in mind is that while these are temp workers, they are still considered employees for the purpose of obtaining workers’ compensation benefits in the event of an on-the-job injury.  While this is generally true, the facts in every situation are different, so you should speak with an experienced Boston workers’ compensation attorney about the facts of your particular case.

This article takes a look at what responsibility the job site employer has with respect to keeping employees safe.  Even though it is not their employee, they are in the best position to prevent an accident.  It should also be noted that in the event of a worker death or debilitating accident, the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will investigate the jobsite employer and can issue fines regardless of whether or not the injured worker is technically an employee of a temp agency.  Again, this may not matter in terms of obtaining workers’ compensation benefits, as the temp agency will be responsible for the payment of benefits, but it is always important to do whatever can be done to prevent employees from being injured while at work.

To demonstrate the importance of sharing responsibility, they looked at a case study of a fictional accident involving a welder who was injured on a project where he was asked to weld indoors without proper ventilation.  The study focused on how the temp agency should have been made aware of what the job conditions would be on the project, so it could take steps to make the workers safer or decline to staff the project.  It was also noted that there should be a lot more communication between the staffing agency and the job site employer about the specifics of the project beyond the financials, which are often the only thing discussed.

If you or someone you love has been injured a Boston work accident, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

Study looks at shared responsibility for temp worker safety, October 14, 2016, Staffing Industry Analysts

More Blog Entries:

Scope of Employment in Workers’ Compensation Cases, March 29, 2016, Boston Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog