NC Temp Works & High Risk of Injuries
The United States is ranked 41st out of 43 developing and emerging economies when it comes to protecting temporary workers. This is especially bad news considering that the temporary workforce is one of the fastest growing sectors of the U.S. economy.
As more workers are forced into temp jobs where they receive few protections, more workplace accidents are likely to occur. In North Carolina 35 workers lost their lives in 2012 and 53 workers were killed on the job in 2011. Around 3.1 out of every 100 workers in private industries also suffered on-the-job injuries. More temp workers could mean higher rates of both injury and death.
Employers have little incentive to properly train temporary workers and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration doesn't have the resources or the authority to conduct enough inspections or impose serious enough penalties to force employers to improve conditions for temp workers. This is a disaster for workers and much more needs to be done.
Temporary workers who experience injuries on-the-job can face more challenges in getting fair compensation and benefits including workers' compensation coverage. Accident lawyers in Wilmington, NC can help those who have been injured.
Temporary Workers at Serious Risk of Injury
In 12 countries, there are limits on the type of work that temporary workers can do in order to make sure they are not sent into dangerous industries or high-risk situations. In Poland, for example, temporary workers may not do jobs in confined spaces such as inside machines. They are also prohibited from working with hazardous materials or from working jobs at heights.
In the U.S., on the other hand, temporary workers are routinely sent in to do the most dangerous jobs. This helps to explain why temporary workers are three times as likely to suffer amputations as regular workers. It also accounts for tragic stories like the death of a worker who suffered burns on 80 percent of his body and who wasn't even helped by co-workers until he finally arrived at an urgent care center 38 minutes after his injuries (no one called 911).
In South Korea, employers can keep a temporary worker for just two years before they have to hire him permanently or reassign him. In the United States, there is no limit on the amount of time someone can be considered a temporary worker. Employers routinely hire temps to avoid having to buy workers' compensation insurance, pay unemployment insurance and otherwise follow workplace safety regulations.
In ¾ of other countries tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OCED), agencies that place temporary workers must be licensed. In the United States, a bill was proposed in 1971 that would require temp agencies to be licensed by the Department of Labor. The Bill failed and it was the last one ever considered by the federal government to improve working conditions for temps.
No new legislation is on the horizon, despite the fact that there are now 17 million workers in the U.S. that are either temp workers, contractor workers, consultants or freelancers. Temporary workers now make up 12 percent of the U.S. workforce and their numbers are expected to grow as 42 percent of employers have plans to hire temps in 2014. Unless something changes quickly and lawmakers get serious about protecting these millions of people, we can only expect the injury and death toll to rise.
Accident lawyers in Willmington, NC can help injured workers. Contact the Law Offices of Richard Flexner at 800-FLEXNER to schedule a free consultation