Work Injury Benefits for Temp Workers
March 6, 2019
Temporary workers play a huge role in today’s gig economy. While they may not be afforded health insurance, retirement plans, or vacation time, temp workers are entitled to many of the same rights as full-time employees.
These include the right to:
- A safe work environment, free of known dangers
- Be trained in a language they understand
- Receive proper safety equipment/personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Contact the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to request an inspection of their workplace
- Report work-related injuries without punishment
According to OSHA, temp workers are at an increased risk of work-related injury and illness. OSHA studies reveal that new workers suffer the most injuries. Because temp workers are “new” to their jobs, potentially multiple times a year, they are particularly vulnerable. To help ensure that temp workers’ rights are protected, OSHA launched the Temporary Worker Initiative (TWI).
OSHA’s Temporary Worker Initiative (TWI)
According to the Policy Background on the Temporary Worker Initiative, the purpose of the TWI is to highlight employers’ responsibilities and ensure that temporary workers are protected from workplace hazards. Temporary workers are entitled to the same protections under the Occupational Safety and Health Act as permanent employees.
Under the initiative, OSHA has released several bulletins that address best practices regarding temp workers, including:
- Injury and illness recordkeeping
- Personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Whistleblower protection rights
- Safety and health training
- Hazard communication
- Bloodborne pathogen protection
- Powered industrial truck training
- Respiratory protection
- Noise exposure and hearing conservation
- The control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout)
Who is Responsible for Ensuring Temp Worker Safety?
Both the staffing agency and the host employer must work together to ensure that temp workers have safe workplaces – OSHA considers them to be “joint employers”. They must both communicate to ensure that temp workers are provided with the necessary protections. Staffing agencies should also inquire about the safety of the workplace to determine how to protect temp workers from existing hazards.
The contract between the joint employers should specify who will be responsible for things like providing PPE and communicating the temporary workers’ responsibilities. Staffing companies should inform host employers of what training temporary workers have had relating to the job at hand before work begins.
If a temp worker is injured, the host employer should promptly notify the staffing agency. The company responsible for supervising temporary workers on a day-to-day basis must record and report injuries, in accordance with OSHA regulations.
Who is Liable for Temp Worker Injuries?
Temporary workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to cover the costs associated with their workplace injuries, just like full-time employees. These benefits are usually paid by the staffing company but can be negotiated in the contract between the staffing agency and host employer.
Temp workers may also be able to collect compensation from third parties, including host employers, for their workplace injuries and illnesses.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Protect Temp Workers’ Rights to Benefits
If you were injured as a temp worker in Pennsylvania, you may be eligible for various forms of workers’ compensation. Contact a Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. to ensure that your rights are being protected and that you receive the maximum compensation to which you are entitled. For a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 888-PITT-LAW.
We proudly represent injured workers in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in the communities of Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester and Wynnewood.