Temporary workers are placed in the same situations as full-time workers, and deserve the same protections as the long-term workers, says a new study and guide approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). With this, the two organizations collaborated to create a new document outlining the best practices for protecting temporary workers. Learn more from Nova Medical Centers.
Protecting Temporary Workers
Workers employed through staffing agencies are generally called “temporary” or “supplied” workers and the staffing agency and staffing agency’s client, or host employer, are jointly responsible for providing a safe working environment.
In promoting this document of recommendations, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels says the following:
“Host employers need to treat temporary workers as they treat existing employees. Temporary staffing agencies and host employers share control over the employee, and are therefore jointly responsible for temp employee’s safety and health. It is essential that both employers comply with all relevant OSHA requirements.”
Dual Responsibility: Employers and Staffing Agencies
Both host employers and staffing agencies have roles in complying with workplace health and safety requirements and they share responsibility for ensuring worker safety and health.
A key concept is that each employer should consider the hazards it is in a position to prevent and correct, and in a position to comply with OSHA standards. For example: staffing agencies might provide general safety and health training, and host employers provide specific training tailored to the particular workplace equipment/hazards.
- The key is communication between the agency and the host to ensure that the necessary protections are provided.
- Staffing agencies have a duty to inquire into the conditions of their workers’ assigned workplaces. They must ensure that they are sending workers to a safe workplace.
- Ignorance of hazards is not an excuse.
- Staffing agencies need not become experts on specific workplace hazards, but they should determine what conditions exist at their client (host) agencies, what hazards may be encountered, and how best to ensure protection for the temporary workers.
- The staffing agency has the duty to inquire and verify that the host has fulfilled its responsibilities for a safe workplace.
- And, just as important: Host employers must treat temporary workers like any other workers in terms of training and safety and health protections.
Download Full Fact Sheet
In order to protect temporary workers, you need information. Learn more about temporary workers and download the Temporary Worker Fact Sheet from the OSHA Website.
Protect All Employees, Permanent or Temporary
Nova Medical Centers believes that no matter the employee, occupational health is the responsibility of all. This is why we provide services to help you ensure workers are protected at all times. From Pre-Employment Drug Screening to treatment of workplace injuries, we provide the services that organizations need to protect employees. Find a Nova Location and read through blogs about this topic below.