Gig Economy May Put Workers at Risk for InjuriesJune 4, 2019
The gig economy, also known as the freelancer economy, refers to a workforce made up of independent contractors who work on temporary assignments. The number of independent contractors has increased dramatically in recent years.
In the current job market, there are fewer full-time positions available, so more workers are accepting temporary positions. The growing gig economy may also reflect generational trends and the priority that millennials place on job flexibility. While this type of work has its benefits, certain industries, including construction and trucking, are seeing a rise in serious accidents and fatalities among workers.
According to the Federal Reserve, approximately 75 million Americans work as independent contractors. For jobs like computer technicians, writers, chefs, and sales personnel, this may allow people to work flexible hours, or to work from the comfort of their home. Unfortunately, construction workers and truck drivers who are independent contractors experience significantly more work-related accidents compared to permanent employees. The increase in accidents may be due to gig workers having less experience or not receiving the necessary training for a job. In some cases, workers that should avoid physically demanding work will take a job if it will help pay the bills. Depending on the nature of the work, a severe accident can cause fatal injuries.
Health Issues More Common for Gig Workers
In addition to older and less experienced workers, there are a percentage of gig workers who have health issues ranging from obesity to drug and alcohol problems, all of which can impact a person’s ability to drive a truck or work at a busy construction site. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 40 percent of Americans suffer from obesity, and the health complications associated with it. In addition, alcohol and drug overdoses in the workplace increased by 25 percent for five years in a row, ending in 2017.
In the trucking industry, there is a shortage of trained drivers, which means that experienced, qualified truck drivers often drive longer and farther to meet tight deadlines. The National Survey of Long-Haul Truck Drivers Health and Injury reported that over one-third of drivers who participated in the survey admitted to nodding off or even falling asleep while they were behind the wheel. In 2014, a Walmart truck driver crashed into comedian Tracy Morgan’s limousine, killing the actor’s friend and causing Morgan to suffer multiple injuries. The truck driver had been driving for 23 hours without sleep. This tragic accident could have been avoided.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Independent Contractors Injured on the Job
If you were injured at work, you are urged to contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We will determine whether your injury was related to your employment status as an independent contractor and ensure that you receive the full financial benefits you deserve. We will work tirelessly to protect your rights and guide you through every step of the claims process. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online. Located in Baltimore, we serve clients throughout Maryland.