On “Workers Memorial Day” OSHA sent out a memorandum regarding efforts to protect temporary workers.

“…the agency is making a concerted effort using enforcement, outreach and training to assure that temporary workers are protected from workplace hazards… Employers have a duty to provide necessary safety and health training to all workers regarding workplace hazards. In order to determine whether employers are complying with their responsibilities under the Act, please direct CSHOs in your region to determine within the scope of their inspections whether any employees are temporary workers and whether any of the identified temporary employees are exposed to a violative condition…

“To better identify this vulnerable population, we need your assistance gathering and tracking certain information during inspections and investigations ofworksites where temporary workers are employed. For the purposes of this information gathering, “temporary worker” includes those who are working under a host employer/staffing agency employment structure. To capture this information, we have created a new OIS code for temporary workers.”

If you train them they can answer the important questions
If you train them they can answer the important questions

What does this mean to you as an employer?

1) OSHA inspectors will be determining whether or not your company employs temporary personnel;

2) OSHA inspectors will be poring through training records and interviewing personnel to determine “whether those workers have in fact received required training in a language and vocabulary they understand.”

3) OSHA inspectors will “document the name of the temporary workers’ staffing agency, the agency’s location, and the supervising structure under which the temporary workers are reporting.”

4) OSHA will be tracking temporary workers employment using a new coding system.

If you use temporary employees, now would be a good time to go over this new development with your temp agency. Send them the link to this blog.

Make certain that employees are trained as required and document that training, regardless of whether it is provided by your company or the agency.

<irony> We’ll let you know if we find any evidence of OSHA actually providing any “concerted effort of outreach and training”on this issue.


Final thought- Who is a temporary worker?

“For the purposes of this memorandum and the new coding, temporary workers are those supplied to a host employer and paid by a staffing agency.”

New OSHA Protecting the Safety and Health of Temporary Workers memorandum