Saturday, February 09, 2008

Temp Workers Face Greater Injury Risks

Temp workers require special attention for injury prevention ...

"Studies in the United States and Europe suggest that contingent workers such as part-time, temporary, or contract workers are at higher risk for occupational injuries and illnesses than workers in traditional employment situations, say NIOSH researchers in the Jan. 30 issue of Journal of the American Medical Association. The article, "Contingent Workers and Contingent Health: Risks of a Modern Economy," by Kristin J. Cummings, M.D., M.P.H., and Kathleen Kreiss, M.D., says increasing scientific evidence suggests several possible reasons for the higher risk and warrants further scientific investigation.

Among the evidence for higher risk among contingent workers are the following data, the researchers say:

* The rate of fatal occupational injuries among self-employed workers is twice the national average for all workers, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
* The rate of needlestick injuries among temporary nurses caring for AIDS patients in 11 U.S. hospitals was 1.65 times higher than the rate for staff nurses working in the same units.
* A 2004 survey of day laborers in the United States found that 19 percent of the day laborers reported work-related injuries that required medical attention in the previous year, compared with less than 5 percent of workers in all private industries and about 6 percent of all workers in construction.
* A preliminary analysis of 2000-2004 data shows that contract coal mine workers with at least 15 years of tenure had a higher prevalence of radiographic evidence for coal workers' pneumoconiosis (black lung) than non-contract coal mine workers."    (Continued via Occupational Health & Safety)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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