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Workplace Safety


By September 1, 2013No Comments

With businesses hiring more temporary workers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is encouraging companies to beef up their efforts for keeping contract employee safe on the job.

According to OSHA, at least 14 temporary blue-collar workers died during their first day at a new worksite in the previous 12 months. As a result, OSHA inspectors have begun asking contract employees whether they’ve been trained about safety protocols, such as lockout-tagout procedures. The agency also is working with the American Staffing Association and employers that use temporary staffing agencies on an initiative to protect contract workers.

A number of factors make temporary workers particularly vulnerable. In many cases, there’s a conflict between staffing companies and employers about who should provide safety training. Although employers are required to train all workers in safety procedures, some businesses don’t invest in training contract workers because of uncertainty about how long they’ll stay on the job. Also, while staffing companies are required to provide general safety training for temporary employees, the employers they work for are responsible for training them in their specific job responsibilities.

Unfortunately, employer negligence can also contribute to workplace mishaps involving contract employees. Some businesses hire and train temporary workers to do one job, and then later assign them to perform dangerous work for which they’re untrained, believing that any injuries will increase the staffing company’s Workers Compensation experience modification factor without affecting the employer’s Comp costs.

According to safety experts, if you use contract workers, the best way to protect them on the job is simple: Provide them with the same training and workplace practices as you would for your own employees!

Sounds like sound advice.

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