Temporary agency workers and the contribution of workplace unfamiliarity to workplace injuries
Underhill, Elsa 2007, Temporary agency workers and the contribution of workplace unfamiliarity to workplace injuries, in AIRAANZ 2007 : diverging employment relations patterns in Australia and New Zealand, conference proceedings, University of Auckland, Auckland, N.Z., pp. 1-11.
Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand Conference
University of Auckland
Place of publication
International and Australian research agrees that temporary agency workers have a higher incidence of workplace injury, and those injuries are more severe. Much less research has been undertaken upon the cause of those injuries. This paper explores one factor contributing to their poorer occupational health and safety through an examination of the role of unfamiliarity with the hosts’ tasks and workplace. The paper commences with a review of the temporary agency employment literature relevant to placing workers in unfamiliar workplaces, and the OHS literature related to timing of injuries. Archival research on investigated workers’ compensation claims for a sample of agency workers and direct hire workers in Victoria is then analysed to assess the importance of unfamiliarity, and training undertaken to overcome that unfamiliarity, for these injured workers. The analysis includes an examination of the timing of the injury in relation to the workers’ placement with the host, and regression analysis on a range of characteristics related to newness at a host’s workplace. The findings confirm that agency workers are especially vulnerable to injury early in their placement, and insufficient attention is given to accommodating unfamiliarity to counter workers’ vulnerability in new workplaces.
Reproduced with the kind permission of the copyright owner.
Field of Research
111705 Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety
Socio Economic Objective
970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
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