More training and better screening of temporary workers could result in fewer lost workdays. That’s the gist of a recent study by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I), which found lost-workday claims were twice as likely to be filed by temporary workers than by permanent employees.
Temp workers filed 2.98 lost-workday claims per 100 full-time employees, compared with 1.48 for permanent employees according to data compiled from Washington workers’ compensation claims between 2011 and 2015.* The industry with the highest disparity was agricultural services, with an average of 12.39 lost-workday claims for temp workers versus 2.36 for permanent employees.
Training is a Necessity
Follow-up interviews with groups of both temp and permanent workers also revealed disparities in training, with 40 percent of the temp workers indicating they did not receive safety training from their employment agencies and 48 percent reporting they were trained only at the start of employment. Temp workers also indicated less screening for relevant work experience and less control over their work schedules.
That should be an eye-opener to human resources and safety services. Recommended proactive steps employers could take to reduce lost workdays include:
Improve screening and training of temporary workers;
Improve hazard awareness and encourage temporary workers to raise concerns if they spot unsafe conditions; and
Minimize job-switching so temporary employees have time to learn the job they’re assigned to.
Temp workers can fill a vital need for many manufacturers, but without the proper training, they could end up costing companies more time, money, and resources. As with all workers, job training is critical. In order to save yourself the extra costs, be thorough in your onboarding, training and orientation. Contact us today to learn how we can help your company make sure your employees receive the right training.
*Adjusted for differences in temporary and permanent worker distribution across industries.
This website presents general information in nontechnical language. This information is not legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific management decision, consult Vigilant or legal counsel.