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Temporary workers at greater risk to be injured on the job

Studies have found that temporary workers are much more likely to be injured on the job than full-time workers are. This information comes out as a record amount of Americans - around 3 million - are employed in temporary positions. This figure is up around 28 percent since 2010, meaning that there has been a significant shift in the workforce. The risks to temporary workers have increased across the country, including in Maryland, though they are higher in some states than others.

For example, a young man who was working in a bottling plant in 2012 was injured on the job and died from his injuries. He was a new worker who had not even completed a single shift. He was working under a machine used for heavy lifting when other workers, not knowing that he was there, turned the machine on. He was crushed.

Some people have stated that safety training for employees is often done on a 10 percent to 90 percent ratio, meaning that 10 percent of the training is done in the classroom while 90 percent of the learning will come while employees are doing their jobs. For this reason, temporary workers, who are often not trained as well and do not have as much experience, are often at a greater risk of injury. The case at the bottling plant resulted in many fines for the company, eventually totaling $192,000. The reason for the fines deals with the fact that the plant simply failed to make sure that workers were adequately trained.

After a work accident, the worker who was injured might be able to seek workman's compensation. If the company did not give the worker the training that he or she needed, it's possible that the company could be held liable for their negligence in court. Any temporary worker in Maryland should be sure to get as much safety training as possible and should consider legal action if an injury does occur.

Source: Human Resource Executive Online, "Temporary Workers, Risky Situations" Andrew R. McIlvaine, Apr. 09, 2014

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