‘Tis the Season of the Temp
As companies gear up for the holiday season, many supplement their workforce by increasing the number of temporary workers.
Unfortunately, research demonstrates that the risk of experiencing a work-related injury may be higher for temporary workers than for non-temporary workers.
Employers should note that whether these temporary workers are supplied through a staffing agency or a company’s own recruitment efforts, all workers have a right to a safe and healthy workplace.
In cases when the workers come through an agency, the host employer and the agency are viewed as joint employers.
This means both are responsible for maintaining a safe environment for the temporary workers.
OSHA recommends that the responsibilities for each party in protecting the workers be delineated in the contract between the two parties.
For example, the contract might define the general health and safety training to be provided by the staffing agency and the more specific training tailored to address the particular workplace hazards provided by the host employer.
The staffing agency also has a right to verify that the host employer is providing the temporary workers with an environment equally as safe as it provides to its regular workers.
Temporary Worker Initiatives
Inadequate training of temporary workers often complicates safety concerns.
OSHA issued a number of initiatives to help employers properly train temporary workers in the coming months.
- Bloodborne Pathogens
- Exposure to Outdoor and Indoor Heat-Related Hazards
- Hazard Communication
- Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout)
- Injury and Illness Recordkeeping Requirements
- Noise Exposure and Hearing Conservation
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Powered Industrial Truck Training
- Respiratory Protection
- Safety and Health Training
- Whistleblower Protection Rights
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