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In the spring of 2013, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration declared an increased focus on the safety of temporary workers. After several accidents across the nation and in New York – especially in the construction work required after Hurricane Sandy – the agency says the safety and training of temporary employees must be monitored carefully. People who are injured on the job may be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits through their employer.
On April 29, 2013, OSHA observed Workers’ Memorial Day, which honors workers who have died while working. According to Bloomberg, at the Workers’ Memorial Day program, David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, said that OSHA is making an increased effort to “use enforcement, outreach and training to ensure that temporary workers are protected from workplace hazards.” This includes inspections to check for OSHA violations and verifying whether the workers received safety training in a language they can understand. Hopefully, the OSHA initiative will improve conditions for temporary workers and help avoid serious injury or death caused by a workplace accident.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, a significant number of temporary workers entered New York and other affected areas to begin clean-up and reconstruction work. The New York Daily News reports that there were several serious accidents involving these temporary workers, including a ladder accident that resulted in a man’s death. In flooded areas, OSHA inspectors came across 3,100 instances of unsafe working conditions and removed nearly 8,000 workers from hazards, according to OSHA records obtained by the Daily News.
An OSHA memorandum states that temporary workers are “those who are paid by a temporary help agency, whether or not their job is temporary.” According to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board, a temporary service agency is one that provides workers to businesses, and these workers are usually considered employees of the temporary service agency. Consequently, it is the temporary service agency that must provide workers’ compensation coverage to its own staff and the workers it sends to other businesses.
Workers’ compensation can provide payment for medical care and lost wages while recovering away from work. It also may provide compensation for partial or total disability caused by one’s work or a work accident. If you have been injured at work or have acquired a work-related disease, contact a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney. A lawyer can help you make a workers’ compensation claim for the benefits you deserve.