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Temporary workers more at injury risk

Oklahoma residents may be interested to learn that a recent report by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health indicates that temporary workers are significantly more likely to be injured while on the job than are permanent employees. The study was reported on NIOSH's blog on June 16.

Research has shown that the risk to temporary workers is twice that of other employees. In 2013, around 17 million people across the country were engaged in temporary work, and the trend to move more jobs to a temporary basis is increasing. The industry types reporting the highest percentage of injuries were the services, commercial and manufacturing sectors.

In order to reduce the risk and the number of injuries, NIOSH made several recommendations. It indicated a need for ongoing training by the temporary agencies as well as a need for management to prioritize safety. Other suggestions include that the temporary agency partner with others to participate in captive insurance in the workers' compensation system, in which the agencies pool resources in order to provide adequate coverage for their workers. Also recommended were quarterly safety evaluations of client companies by the temporary agency as well as clear pre-contract agreements regarding safety.

Workplace injuries can be very severe, leaving the victims with sometimes permanently debilitating injuries. Oklahoma requires most employers to provide workers' compensation insurance coverage for those who have been injured on the job. A worker who has been in a workplace accident may choose to file a claim with the employer's insurance carrier in order to receive benefits. The benefits available may include coverage to pay for all of the associated medical expenses, ongoing treatment costs and any needed prosthetic devices. An attorney who has experience in these matters can often be of assistance to a worker in the preparation and filing of the claim.

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