Occupational health and safety of temporary and agency workers

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Previous quantitative studies have established a link between precarious work and occupational health and safety (OHS). Using an ethnographically informed qualitative approach, this article investigates the workplace experiences of different types of precarious workers, in particular those who are directly-employed temporary workers and those who are engaged through an agency. Drawing on the work of Andrew Hopkins, the article finds cultural practices that lead to worsened OHS experiences for those who are engaged through an agency. These experiences include inadequate safety training, poor quality personal protective equipment and a lack of clarity of supervisory roles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-628
JournalEconomic and Industrial Democracy
Issue number4
Early online date29 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Data for this article were collected during the author’s PhD studies, which were funded by the ESRC.


  • atypical employment
  • contingent planning
  • dual labour market
  • flexibility
  • health and safety work


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