The gig economy is growing in San Diego and throughout California. Organizations contract independent workers for temporary positions and short-term engagements. The prevalence of this free market system and analysis by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that these independent workers are more vulnerable when it comes to workplace injuries. The at-risk group includes day laborers, on-call employees, independent contractors and workers hired through agencies.
A recent BLS report indicates significantly higher rates of injuries and fatalities in gig workers result from slips, trips and falls, contact with equipment or objects, and exposure to harmful environments or substances. The analysis shows that most fatalities occurred among tractor-trailer operators, construction supervisors, extraction workers and construction laborers. It was noted that the changing of their employment situations and changing safety and health challenges put these workers at higher risks.
Independent workers often accept more hazardous work, and in many cases, they lack the necessary training for specific jobs. Temporary workers do not always have access to adequate personal protective equipment, and they do not always receive the required safety training. Independent workers who do not have paid sick leave might continue working while sick, increasing their injury risks.
When independent workers in San Diego suffer workplace injuries, they might have questions about their rights to compensation. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can assess the situation and explain the options. Aspects to consider will include, among others, whether an agency placed the worker, and whether the injury resulted from another party’s negligence. Once viable options for financial relief are identified, legal counsel can provide the necessary support and guidance.