Surge in number of temp workers involved in work-related accidents

The number of temporary workers dispatched by employment agencies who were involved in work-related accidents increased nine-fold over a three-year period, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said.

The finding demonstrates that temporary workers engage in dangerous labor without receiving adequate safety guidance, which will likely have an influence on discussions on amendments to the law on dispatched workers, labor experts say.

In 2007, 5,885 temporary workers dispatched by employment agencies to various workplaces were forced to take four days or more off work after being injured in work-related accidents, 36 of which proved fatal. The figure is nine times that of 2004, which stood at 667, according to ministry statistics.

The number of overall workers who got injured or died in work-related accidents remained mostly level over that period — 132,248 in 2004 and 131,478 in 2007 — highlighting a sharp increase in accidents involving temp workers.