When it Comes to Workers’ Comp, Temporary Workers Can Get Screwed! Seriously!

As lawyers practicing in the area of workers’ compensation I’ve seen my share of work injuries involving temporary workers. Unfortunately for them when they call my office I immediately get an upset stomach because generally speaking they are going to get screwed in the sense they will receive little by way of compensation for horrendous injuries. This story below isn’t common but it can happen and obviously did happen.

Are temporary workers being subjected to the riskier jobs made more risky by inadequate training? Here Attorney Lombardi gives you ten tips to reduce the risks associated with being a temporary employee. 

In my experience injured workers are trained less, trained poorly by management and get to do the crappy jobs no one else in the plant want to do. The temporary workers are like sheep being sent to the slaughtering house and shunned by permanent workers who see little incentive to friend them. Supervisors usually aren’t happy to have to deal with a temporary worker so training is usually quick with not enough to time for the workers to ask questions and understand the dangers of the worker they are being asked to perform.

Ten Tips for Temporary Workers

  1. Demand training.
  2. Refuse the work if you’re not being taken seriously.
  3. Be polite to the co-workers and supervisors but be firm in getting your questions answered.
  4. Ask for time to read operator manuals for dangerous machinery.
  5. Before starting work on or around machinery take time to familiarize yourself with it.
  6. If the supervisor isn’t training you properly stop before proceeding.
  7. Don’t be intimidated from filing a workers’ compensation claim.
  8. Understand your workers compensation rate will probably be less then permanent workers.
  9. Demand equal pay for equally difficult and dangerous work or decline the assignment.
  10. Don’t be a patsy for the sake of the temporary service supplying a worker.

When workers die: “And nobody called 911″

“The laborer, assigned to the plant that afternoon in November 2011 by a temporary staffing agency, was showered with the solution after it erupted from the open hatch of a 500-gallon chemical tank he was cleaning. Factory bosses, federal investigators would later contend, refused to call an ambulance as he awaited help, shirtless and screaming. He arrived at Loyola only after first being driven to a clinic by a co-worker.


A narrative account of the accident that killed him — and a description of conditions inside the Raani Corp. plant in Bedford Park, Ill. — are included in a U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration memorandum obtained by the Center for Public Integrity. The 11-page OSHA memo, dated May 10, 2012, argues that safety breakdowns in the plant warrant criminal prosecution — a rarity in worker death cases.”

Steve Lombardi
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Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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