How precarious employment affects health and safety at work : the case of temporary agency workers
Underhill, Elsa and Quinlan, Michael 2011, How precarious employment affects health and safety at work : the case of temporary agency workers, Relations industrielles, vol. 66, no. 3, Summer, pp. 397-421.
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International studies indicate temporary agency workers are more likely to be injured at work than other types of employees. However explanations for this have been less forthcoming. This paper seeks to begin filling this gap. A study was undertaken in Victoria, Australia, of occupational health and safety (OHS) amongst temporary agency workers drawing upon workers' compensation claim files for injured agency and directly hired workers from 1995-2001, and focus groups of temporary agency workers conducted in 2003. In analyzing the results, use was made of risk factors identified in a model that has been developed to explain how precarious employment affects OHS--the pressure, disorganization and regulatory failure (PDR) model (Quinlan and Bohle, 2004, 2009). Drawing principally on qualitative data, the paper finds that whilst agency workers share common risk factors with other forms of precarious workers, unique characteristics associated with the triangular nature of agency employment heighten their vulnerability further.
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