The gig economy has been on the rise for the last few years. Independent workers and contractors enjoy the flexibility to work on their own terms and provide services for companies on certain projects.
However, independent workers should also be aware that their risk of suffering a fatal injury on the job is significantly higher than non-independent workers.
Report finds independent workers more at risk for occupational fatalities
A 2019 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that independent workers made up 12% of all fatal work injuries.
This might not seem too alarming until the BLS calculates the risk and probability of a fatal injury for independent workers compared to non-independent workers. The BLS calculates a significant disparity in several situations. For example, the risk of independent workers suffering a deadly slip and fall is 71% higher than that for a non-independent worker.
There could be many reasons for this high risk. It could be the constantly changing environment that comes with working gigs. Or it could be the lack of training that gig workers often receive. Regardless, all independent workers must be aware of this considerable risk to their safety.
Which workers are most at risk?
The report outlines that the fields in which independent workers face the highest risk of fatal injuries include:
- Rideshare services;
- Construction labor;
- Landscaping; and
Seeking compensation can be complex for some independent contractors. This is due to the fact that they might not be considered a covered worker under Maryland law (Maryland Code, Labor & Employment §9-202). If families wish to recover compensation for their losses, it is helpful to consult an experienced attorney to ensure workers were classified correctly and explore all the avenues of recovering compensation.
Regardless of a worker’s classification, safety on the job should be a priority for all workers.