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Workplace injuries of temporary workers may be preventable

Temporary workers have been used in so-called "white collar" professions for decades. Now, the number of temporary workers in California and around the country has grown in nearly every profession and industry, and the workplace injuries that some of these workers face are much worse than a paper cut. The number of temporary workers that suffer serious injury or are even killed on-the-job is increasing, and OSHA is responding with new initiatives to keep temporary workers safe while working.

One reason that companies hire temporary workers is to cut down on personnel costs. However, that often comes with the tendency to bypass crucial safety training that permanent workers receive. Sometimes, companies assume that a staffing agency has done at least minimal training but that may not be the case. Understandably, this lack of training is a breeding ground for injuries and/or death.

For instance, a man took a temporary position at a Bay Point adhesive manufacturing plant last April. His supervisor gave him a pair of coveralls that were too big for him and gave him cursory instructions to clean an industrial mixer. His task put him in close proximity to a spinning shaft that was unguarded. The sleeve on his oversized coveralls got caught in the shaft, and the man was pulled in and seriously injured. He made it to an area hospital but soon died because of his injuries.

Thousands of temporary workers die unnecessarily each year. OSHA is working to improve the safety in all workplaces, but the sad fact is that accidents can still happen. Temporary workers in California that suffer injuries while on-the-job are likely entitled to workers' compensation benefits to ease the financial strain workplace injuries can cause.

Source: insidebayarea.com, Temporary workers face unnecessary, life-threatening hazards, Dr. David Michaels, Nov. 16, 2013

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