Temporary Worker Training Best Practices
The following article was provided by USI Insights. It is posted here with permission.
Any host employer that utilizes temporary workers through a staffing company may be opening themselves up to safety and health challenges.
When done haphazardly, these nonstandard short- and long-term work arrangements can threaten the safety and health of the workforce and the company.
According to OSHA, the host employer and the staffing company are joint employers of temporary workers, meaning they are both responsible for providing and maintaining a safe work environment for these workers.
One way to ensure a safe work environment is to provide proper training for both temporary workers and their worksite supervisors.
Providing site- and task-specific safety and health training typically falls upon the host employer; this training should be provided to all temporary workers before they start any new assignment, job or task.
The training should be “identical or equivalent to that provided to the host employer’s own employees performing the same or similar work,” according to OSHA.
This article outlines the topics and best practices training should cover for temporary workers and their supervisors to ensure a safe environment for these workers.
Temporary Worker Training
Site- and task-specific safety and health training must be in a language and vocabulary easy to understand.
The following should be included in the training.
Approved tasks: Outline tasks temporary workers are approved to perform as well as any task they are not allowed to perform and any equipment/machinery they are not allowed to operate.
Emphasize that the host employer must obtain approval from the staffing company before any new tasks can be implemented.
Hazard identification and control: Train temporary workers on how to recognize hazards related to the site and task. Be sure to include information on how to best reduce or eliminate such hazards.
Personal protective equipment: Ensure temporary workers understand what PPE is required for a given task and how to properly utilize it. These items may include respirators, hearing protection, gloves, eye protection, etc.
OSHA laws: Include information on employer responsibilities and workers’ rights and responsibilities under OSHA law, emphasizing that temporary workers have the same rights and responsibilities as non-temporary workers.
Rights and responsibilities include the right to refuse dangerous work and whistleblower protection rights.
Reporting safety and health incidents and concerns: Employ temporary workers with the responsibility of reporting all work-related injuries, illnesses and close calls.
Any safety and health concerns should be reported to both the host employer and staffing company as soon as possible.
Training should include:
- Procedures for how and when to report
- What to expect after reporting
- An emphasis that there will be no punishment or retaliation for reporting
Secure sites: If necessary, train temporary workers on how to gain access to secure sites and establish protocols for ensuring personal security when entering.
Safety and health program participation: Determine ways in which temporary workers can participate in the host employer’s safety and health programs, such as:
- Safety meetings/committees
- Toolbox talks
- Scheduled trainings
- Hazard-specific programs (e.g. hearing conservation, hazard communication)
After training has concluded, host employers should take a number of steps.
Assess temporary worker knowledge: Ensure temporary workers understand key concepts by giving them a knowledge assessment in a language they understand. If gaps are found, host employers should repeat the training and reassess the workers’ knowledge.
Document the training: Include the training completion date, names of workers trained, and name of instructors on all site- and task-specific training documentation.
This documented information should be available upon request from the staffing company, with the host employer providing copies of the documentation.
Evaluate staffing company training materials: Review any training materials provided by the staffing company.
If they aren’t adequate, the host employer should give the staffing company recommendations on what information would be relevant, such as specific details of an assigned job, a basic overview of employer responsibilities and workers’ rights and responsibilities, and common hazards and protections.
It’s imperative for host employers to also provide training to any supervisor who will be managing the work of temporary workers.
The following information should be included in the training.
Approved tasks: Ensure supervisors are aware of the tasks temporary workers are approved to perform as well as the tasks they are not approved to perform and any equipment/machinery they are not allowed to operate.
Changes to job tasks: Determine the process for modifying job tasks.
Mentoring and supervision: Establish that it is the responsibility of the supervisor to provide temporary workers with identical or equivalent supervision to that of the host employer’s non-temporary worker employees.
Supervisors should also be aware that some temporary workers may be inexperienced with the assigned tasks and unfamiliar with the worksite, requiring additional mentoring or supervision.
OSHA laws: Train supervisors on employer responsibilities and workers’ rights and responsibilities under OSHA law.
Communication and reporting: Establish protocols for supervisors to communicate with temporary workers about their performance and safety-related behavior.
Encourage supervisors to report all work-related injuries, work-related illnesses, close calls, and safety and health concerns.
Joint responsibilities: Educate supervisors on the roles of the host employer and staffing company in regards to safety and health.
This includes training, PPE, hazard communication, injury and illness reporting and response, and recordkeeping.
By establishing policies and procedures as part of the training process for temporary workers and supervisors, staffing companies, and host employers can ensure safety and health are prioritized.
For more information, contact USI’s Chad McCulley.
EXPLORE BY CATEGORY
Stay Connected with CBIA News Digests
The latest news and information delivered directly to your inbox.