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Report: Temporary workers face serious workplace hazards

Employers in New York understand that they are supposed to provide a clean and safe working environment for their employees. They should be aware that failure to do so can often result in a serious accident in which a worker is injured, sickened or even killed. Under state and federal laws, employees who are temporarily or permanently unable to work due to a workplace illness or injury may be eligible to pursue workers' compensation benefits. 

In order to prevent accidents from happening, many employers provide thorough and accurate training to their employees. Whether it involves instructions on how to report an injury or training on the proper way of executing tasks, this instruction can prove to be vital in keeping employees safe.

Sadly, not all employers take this responsibility seriously. Many negligent businesses try to cut corners by skipping over the training, especially when it comes to the temporary workers or independent contractors that are hired. In fact, 12 percent of the workers who were killed on the job in 2011 reportedly involved an independent contractor. In 28 percent of those accidents, the victim was Hispanic or Latino. 

The U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration have stated that many of these accidents happen because workers have not been properly trained in a language they understand. This means that crucial operational and safety instructions are not properly communicated, which puts workers in serious danger.

It is true that OSHA routinely issues fines to companies who do not properly train or instruct workers, but efforts have been lacking when it comes to temporary workers. OSHA has recently announced that they will be increasing their efforts to monitor companies who routinely hire temporary workers and make sure they are in compliance with training and safety guidelines. Sadly, that may not be of any relief to the workers who have already been injured. 

Despite the possibility that a worker can be injured or that a business owner can be fined for unsafe work environments, accidents on the job still happen much too frequently. While some accidents or injuries happen on their own, others are caused by employer negligence. In either case, it can be crucial for a victim to speak with a workers' compensation attorney who can help injured workers pursue the compensation they deserve. 

Source: Occupational Safety & Health Reporter, "New OSHA Enforcement Initiative Focuses On Temporary Staffing Agency Workers," May 2, 2013

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