Helsinki (05.04.1999 - Juhani Artto) The risk of accidents in temporary work of less than six months is much higher than in permanent jobs, reveals a new study covering the situation in 1995-1996.

Risks in industry were 50 per cent higher and, in metal product production, as much as 75 per cent higher for temporary workers. In the service sector the risks involved in temporary and permanent jobs were approximately equal. When comparing all sectors of working life, the average risk difference was 30 per cent.

This statistical material shows that in temporary jobs the propensity to accident and vocational illness peaks some 12 weeks after beginning work.

"These results correlate with international studies and are alarming even when judged conservatively", comments SAK Occupational Health and Safety Secretary Raili Perimäki.

"Changes in production structures have blurred occupational safety responsibilities", she states, urging more detailed studies on the problem and making several reform proposals to improve the situation. One such proposal is for temporary employees to undergo the same orientation inspections as are normal for permanent employees.

"The work site risk evaluations are still far from complete", she adds.