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AAOHN J. 1999 Oct;47(10):470-8.

Injury experience of temporary workers in a manufacturing setting. Factors that increase vulnerability.

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  • 1Attwood Corporation, Grand Rapids, MI, USA.


An apparent two to three times higher injury frequency rate for temporary employees compared to permanent workers was identified in one manufacturing setting. Data were collected using demographic surveys (N = 20) and three focus group interviews (n = 13), with a convenience sample of temporary employees as well as four structured interviews with temporary agency owners and managers to explore factors which increase the vulnerability of temporary employees to workplace injuries. Several physical and psychological stressors were identified as well as a perception by the temporary employees that the reporting of work injuries could lead to loss of a temporary work assignment or the opportunity for permanent employment. In contrast, the agency owners and managers were concerned that reported injuries were not always legitimate. All of them actively used strategies to control their injury experience but faced the challenge of lacking day to day control of both the work environment and employee work behaviors. This preliminary study cannot be generalized to manufacturing worksites. Additional research is needed to document the injury experience of temporary employees, identify training needs, and design interventions.

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