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Between two stools: occupational injuries and risk factors for temporary agency workers

Between two stools: occupational injuries and risk factors for temporary agency workers PurposeResearch shows that the risk of work-related disorders is higher among temporary agency workers than among other employees. The purpose of this paper is to describe the working conditions of temporary agency workers and explains which factors contribute towards work-related disorders for this group.Design/methodology/approachThis paper is based on a survey responded to by 482 agency workers in Sweden. The dependent variable is the prevalence of work-related disorders. Independent variables include personal characteristics, job characteristics, employment characteristics and temporary agency work characteristics.FindingsThe study indicates several risk factors: holding a position as a blue-collar worker; being assigned to more physically demanding work tasks and having fewer opportunities to learn new things than client organization employees; lacking training for work tasks; and lacking clarity regarding which work tasks to do during an assignment.Originality/valueThe theoretical implications of this study are related to the dual employment-management relationship in temporary agency work where the temporary work agency and client organization follow different logics. The logic in the employment relationship is to contract temporary agency workers out to client organizations, thus there is no time for formal training. The logic in the management relationship lies in making temporary agency workers profitable as soon as possible, encouraging shortcuts in training and instruction; thus, temporary agency workers risk being left with a lack of clarity regarding what to do and how to do it. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png international Journal of Workplace Health Management Emerald Publishing

Between two stools: occupational injuries and risk factors for temporary agency workers

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1753-8351
DOI
10.1108/IJWHM-07-2015-0038
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeResearch shows that the risk of work-related disorders is higher among temporary agency workers than among other employees. The purpose of this paper is to describe the working conditions of temporary agency workers and explains which factors contribute towards work-related disorders for this group.Design/methodology/approachThis paper is based on a survey responded to by 482 agency workers in Sweden. The dependent variable is the prevalence of work-related disorders. Independent variables include personal characteristics, job characteristics, employment characteristics and temporary agency work characteristics.FindingsThe study indicates several risk factors: holding a position as a blue-collar worker; being assigned to more physically demanding work tasks and having fewer opportunities to learn new things than client organization employees; lacking training for work tasks; and lacking clarity regarding which work tasks to do during an assignment.Originality/valueThe theoretical implications of this study are related to the dual employment-management relationship in temporary agency work where the temporary work agency and client organization follow different logics. The logic in the employment relationship is to contract temporary agency workers out to client organizations, thus there is no time for formal training. The logic in the management relationship lies in making temporary agency workers profitable as soon as possible, encouraging shortcuts in training and instruction; thus, temporary agency workers risk being left with a lack of clarity regarding what to do and how to do it.

Journal

international Journal of Workplace Health ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 12, 2016

References