Podcast: Outsourcing Labor, Injuries to the Growing Temp Industry
The temp industry is one of the fastest growing job sectors in the U.S. – currently employing a record 2.8 million workers – but according to a ProPublica analysis of workers’ compensation claims, it’s also one of the more dangerous, with temps facing a significantly greater risk of getting injured on the job than permanent employees.
ProPublica’s Michael Grabell details in his latest report – Temporary Work, Lasting Harm – how the workers’ comp system was designed to encourage safety through economic pressure by forcing companies with higher injury rates to pay higher insurance premiums. However, hiring temp workers has insulated companies from taking responsibility – “subverting one of the strongest incentives for companies to protect workers,” he writes.
Grabell joins ProPublica editor-in-chief Steve Engelberg on the podcast this week to discuss why temp workers are more prone to injuries on the job; how OSHA has documented temp workers being treated as “second-class citizens” and “peons”; and what could be done about this growing problem.