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September 4, 2014

OSHA, NIOSH Issue Recommended Practices for Temporary Workers

Temporary Worker labelBecause temporary workers are at increased risk of work-related injury and illness, OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently released a Recommended Practices publication intended to help staffing agencies and host employers better protect temporary workers from job hazards.

The new Recommended Practices publication highlights the joint responsibility of the staffing agency and host employer to ensure temporary workers are provided a safe work environment. 

Recommendations for protecting temporary workers include:
  • Train agency staff to recognize safety and health hazards
  • Evaluate the host employer's worksite
  • Assign safety responsibilities and define the scope of work
  • Track injuries and illness
  • Maintain contact with workers
Read more details on these recommendations in this updated post.

OSHA's Temporary Worker Initiative, launched last year, includes outreach, training and enforcement to assure that temporary workers are protected in their workplaces.

"An employer's commitment to the safety of temporary workers should not mirror these workers' temporary status," said OSHA head Dr. David Michaels. "Whether temporary or permanent, all workers always have a right to a safe and healthy workplace. Staffing agencies and the host employers are joint employers of temporary workers and both are responsible for providing and maintaining safe working conditions."

"Recognizing that temporary workers are often new to the workplace to which they are sent, we believe these recommended practices will provide a strong foundation for host employers and staffing agencies to work together to provide a comprehensive program that protects the safety and health of all workers," said NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard.

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