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Keeping Gig Economy Workers Safe and Healthy

The gig economy is booming, with more and more people taking on short-term, on-demand jobs obtained through online platforms. While this provides flexibility for workers, it also poses some unique health and safety challenges that employers need to consider.


As the gig economy grows across sectors like transportation and logistics, gig workers are delivering services on a task-by-task basis. But for health and safety purposes, they should not be treated any differently than permanent employees. Gig workers may identify as self-employed, agency workers, or "limb b workers" entitled to certain rights.


There is separate health and safety advice for gig workers themselves to understand their rights and responsibilities. However, the company utilising their services, or "end user business", bears responsibility for managing gig worker health and safety during work assignments. This is because they direct the work and control the premises.


Before Work Begins


Before any work begins, the gig worker's agency must collaborate with the end user business to identify workplace risks, assess likelihood of harm, and implement control measures. The agency must check the worker's qualifications to perform the job safely, and provide them with full risk information. No worker should be assigned unless their health and safety can be assured.


During the Work Placement


Ongoing communication between the end user, agency, and worker is crucial to clarify safety duties and prevent assumption of responsibilities. All parties must carry out work in a way that protects the gig worker from risks.


The nature of gig work itself can lead to unique hazards like stress, fatigue, and musculoskeletal issues from long hours or tight deadlines. Employers must recognise and address these adverse health effects.


In Conclusion


With collaboration and open communication, gig economy employers can meet their health and safety obligations and create a safe, healthy environment for all workers, whether temporary or permanent. Considering the unique demands of gig work is key to protecting this growing segment of the workforce.



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