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NIOSH finds that temp workers are more likely to suffer injuries

The National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety highlighted research in a blog post on June 16 about the frequency of injuries and claims among temporary workers. New Jersey residents might be surprised to learn that about 17 million people worked as temporary employees in 2013, and they are twice as likely to suffer severe injuries at work than part- and full-time workers.

NIOSH brought its data to the attention of the NORA Manufacturing Sector and Services Sector Councils. It discussed figures from the workers' compensation database for Washington state, which shows that temp employees have higher rates of injury claims in some industries than permanent employees. The notable issues were differences in construction, machine operations and vehicle operations. Other NIOSH presenters highlighted data from the Bureau of Workers' Compensation in Ohio, discussing claim rates and injuries for temp manufacturing workers, who filed the most claims alongside the services and commercial industries.

Some NIOSH presenters talked about the best ways to lessen the exposures and risks for temp employees, including senior management making safety a priority and providing continuous training at every level of employment. Other measures that they highlighted include conducting in-depth investigations of every work accident and incident; partnering with companies to clearly outline the co-employment of workers; and participating in captive insurance, an agreement under some workers' compensation systems in which staffing agencies assume some of the risk.

New Jersey employees and their dependents could qualify for workers' compensation benefits if the employees are killed or injured at work. The employers or insurance carriers are responsible for paying for the reasonable and necessary medical costs, lost wages, temporary and permanent disability benefits, and death benefits. Many claimants find that the assistance of an attorney who has experience with these matters is valuable throughout the process.

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