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OSHA warns of dangers associated with temporary employment

The recent economic collapse of 2008, adversely impacted many American businesses. Companies across all business sectors were forced to reduce costs often laying off large numbers of workers. Even as the American economy improves, many of those companies and industries most impacted are leery to increase their workforce. As a result, many are turning to employment agencies and hiring temporary employees.

The use of temporary employees is often an attractive option for businesses. Such employees are typically not entitled to benefits such as paid time off and medical coverage. What's more, the terms of employment for temporary or contract employees are almost 100 percent at the discretion of employers who can terminate contracts with little to no notice.

While the use of temporary employees has many benefits for an employer, there are obvious financial disadvantages for a temporary employee. Information recently released by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, also shows that many temporary employees face serious workplace safety concerns. Data released by OSHA shows that, within the last 12 months, 14 temporary workers died in work-related accidents which occurred on their first day of work.

Safety officials believe the majority of these fatal work accidents stem from lack of training. Employers who hire temporary workers typically do not want to invest the time and money it takes to train these employees. As a result, temporary employees are often placed in hazardous work environments where accidents are likely to occur.

Temporary or contract workers in North Carolina who have been injured in a workplace accident have rights and would be wise to discuss their case with an attorney. In many cases, staffing agencies or companies are negligent in failing to properly train temporary employees on safety protocols.

Source: Business Insurance, "OSHA pushes temporary employee safety to reduce fatalities," Sheena Harrison, July 26, 2013

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