For many industries, production is everything. You’ve got to keep up with demand, regardless of holidays or vacations. And sometimes demand exceeds your people resources, like seasonal crunch stints. To keep your operations running smoothly, you may employ temporary workers.
But there’s more to it than calling an agency. Did you know that OSHA standards obligate you to safeguard temporary workers at your facility? That’s right. Because temporary staffing agencies and host employers share the management of temporary workers, OSHA considers them to be jointly accountable for a safe working environment. If you’re not in compliance, OSHA can and will hold you responsible.
But you don’t have to be in the dark about your obligations; here are some guidelines to stay on the right side of the law.
- First off, it’s your responsibility to know the health and safety risks of your particular operations. OSHA does not recognize ignorance as an excuse.
- When you work with a temporary staffing agency, keep communications clear to make certain you address all required and appropriate safety measures.
- Ensure the contract between you and the agency addresses your respective responsibilities to comply with relevant OSHA standards.
- With regard to worker health and safety protection, consider all temporary workers just as you do your permanent employees.
- Take the necessary time to train temp workers specifically on your equipment or other hazardous activities, including to whom to report an incident or injury.
- Make sure to adhere to all OSHA training, hazard communications, and recordkeeping requirements.
- Have a point of contact with your temp agency to discuss operational issues that include your organization’s health and safety standards and expectations.
Of course, should an accident or injury occur, the exact legal responsibilities vary by case. It goes without saying that the wisest course of action is to make certain your upholding your responsibilities as a host employer. Not only will this stance protect your business, it will also protect the health of the people you hire to help you. And that’s no small thing.
Did you know OSHA offers free on-site consultations in every state? You can find the program nearest you, call OSHA at 1-800-321- 6742 (OSHA) or visit www.osha.gov/consultation.
Environmental Remedies considers the safety of all workers who support our operations to be a top priority.
For more information on our safety awareness and training programs, give us a call at 800-399-2783.