The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released new guidance for staffing agencies and host employers to better protect temporary workers from hazards on the job. The new guidance focuses on safety and health training, and hazard communication.
Employers have a duty to provide necessary safety and health training to all workers regarding workplace hazards. Temporary workers are entitled to the same protections under the Occupational Safety and Health Act as all other covered workers. When a staffing agency supplies temporary workers to a business, typically, the staffing agency and the staffing agency’s client, commonly referred to as the host employer, are joint employers of those workers. Both employers are responsible to some degree for determining the conditions of employment and complying with the law.
Topics from the new guidance include the following:
- Training of temporary workers;
- Host employer and staffing agency responsibilities;
- Hazard communication for temporary workers;
- Example scenarios and analysis; and
- Links to additional resources and publications.
Note: Twenty-eight states have their own OSHA-approved occupational safety and health programs (“State Plans”). These State Plans have and enforce their own standards that must be at least as effective as OSHA’s, but may have different or additional requirements.
Host employers and staffing agencies may review the guidance regarding safety and health training and hazard communication for specific information. Affected entities may also visit OSHA’s Protecting Temporary Workers page, which includes information and resources to help assure that temporary workers are protected in their workplaces.
For more information on creating a workplace free from recognized hazards, visit our section on Safety & Wellness.
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