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Minnesota temp workers may be at greater risk for injury

Most U.S. residents are aware that the majority of temporary jobs offer no job security, but it was recently discovered that temp workers may also be in greater physical danger than permanent employees, even while performing the exact same job. According to information from a study done by ProPublica, temp workers are far more likely to suffer a work injury; depending on the state, temp workers were anywhere from 36 to 72 percent more likely to be harmed than permanent employees of a business. Because of under-reporting seen in many companies, even these numbers may fail to appropriately represent the problem.

According to the study, employers have been using temporary workers to fill positions instead of creating permanent jobs since 2008. There are a variety of financial advantages to doing this, especially for companies in labor industries. When an employee of a company is injured, the company's workers' compensation insurance most cover the costs of their claim, possibly increasing insurance premiums for a business. However, if a temp worker is harmed, the temp agency's workers' compensation insurance covers the worker, and the agency is on the hook for any increases in premiums.

Due to lack of appropriate training, temp workers are far more likely to be harmed while doing a job in the manufacturing and warehousing industries. These types of jobs can carry the threat of severe damage to workers, and in four states, temp employees are three times as likely to suffer an amputation than their full-time peers.

Job-related injuries and illnesses come with medical costs, and many require individuals to miss work and the associated income. Workers' compensation covers these expenses for individuals, and it can also provide care for people who have suffered a temporary or permanent disability. A lawyer may be able to help someone pursue a claim and receive benefits appropriate to their situation and needs.

Source: Huffington Post, "Temp Work Isn't Only Insecure -- It's More Dangerous Too", Michael Grabell and Jeff Larson, December 18, 2013

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