Updated Guidance Outlines Duties of Host Employers and Staffing Agencies
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have released new guidance for staffing agencies and host employers to better protect temporary workers from hazards on the job.
Employers have a duty to provide necessary safety and health training to all workers regarding workplace hazards. Temporary workers are at increased risk of work-related injury and illness. OSHA's Temporary Worker Initiative, launched last year, includes outreach, training and enforcement to assure that temporary workers are protected in their workplaces.
Key concepts from the new guidance include the following:
- The key is communication between the agency and the host to ensure that the necessary protections are provided.
- Staffing agencies have a duty to inquire into the conditions of their workers' assigned workplaces. They must ensure that they are sending workers to a safe workplace.
- Staffing agencies should determine what conditions exist at their client (host) agencies, what hazards may be encountered, and how best to ensure protection for temporary workers.
- Host employers must treat temporary workers like any other workers in terms of training and safety and health protections.