OSHA & Staffing Employee Safety

Protecting the Safety of Temporary Workers

Sep 11, 2018

According to the United States Department of Labor, the extent of responsibility under the law of staffing agencies and host employers is dependent on the specific facts of each case.  Staffing agencies and host employers are jointly responsible for maintaining a safe work environment for temporary workers - including ensuring that OSHA's training, hazard communication, and recordkeeping requirements are fulfilled.

OSHA has concerns that some employers may use temporary workers as a way to avoid meeting their compliance obligations under the OSH Act and other worker protection laws; that temporary workers get placed in a variety of jobs, including the most hazardous jobs; that temporary workers are more vulnerable to workplace safety, health hazards, and retaliation than workers in traditional employment relationships; that temporary workers are often not given adequate safety and health training or explanations of their duties by either the temporary staffing firm or the host employer. Therefore, it is essential that both employers comply with all relevant OSHA requirements.

Host Employers and Staffing Firms Have Roles

Both host employers and staffing agencies have roles in complying with workplace health and safety requirements, and share responsibility for ensuring worker safety and health. A key concept is that each employer should consider the hazards for a position and take steps to prevent, correct, and comply with OSHA standards.

  • The key is communication between the firm 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 firm has the duty to inquire and verify that the host has fulfilled its responsibilities for a safe workplace.
  • Host employers must treat temporary workers like any other workers in terms of training, safety and health protections.

How can Lofton Safety help?

Workers have a right to a safe workplace. If you have questions regarding safety issues or training, contact Lofton Safety Services at 337-330-2642 or info@loftonsafety.com. For other valuable worker protection information, such as Workers' Rights, Employer Responsibilities and other services OSHA offers, visit www.osha.gov

About Lofton: Founded in 1979, Lofton Services offers clients the best of all worlds. We provide the responsive, personal service and flexibility of a small local firm while having the technology, resources, and infrastructure to deliver the benefits of the biggest players in our industry. Lofton Staffing can deliver the right people, with the right skills, right when you need them. Contact us today.

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