OSHA, NIOSH Publish Recommended Practices to Protect Temporary Workers
By Mel Fabrikant Monday, August 25 2014 @ 02:59 PM EDT
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health today released a new educational resource that focuses on staffing firm and client responsibilities for protecting the health and safety of temporary workers. The document suggests recommended practices with respect to temporary worker training; inspection of worksites; injury tracking, prevention, and reporting; and the delineation of the parties’ respective safety duties in staffing firm contracts with clients. OSHA has stated that the recommended practices constitute guidance only and, unless otherwise mandated by law, are not required.
The recommended practices were released in conjunction with OSHA’s Temporary Worker Initiative, an agency-wide enforcement, outreach, and training effort to protect temporary workers, and follows the release of OSHA’s Recordkeeping Bulletin in March. The Recordkeeping Bulletin addresses which party is responsible for recording temporary workers’ injuries and illnesses on the OSHA 300 log.
The recommended practices also come on the heels of ASA and OSHA entering into a formal alliance to help provide ASA members and others with information, guidance, and access to training resources that will help them protect the health and safety of temporary workers as well as understand the rights of workers and the responsibilities of employers.
“Worker wellness and safety have long been a top priority of the American Staffing Association and its member companies,” said Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. “This voluntary cooperative relationship with OSHA helps raise awareness of OSHA’s initiatives, increase training and education, and enhance outreach and communication, especially among staffing clients.”
“Through this alliance with ASA, we will increase outreach to staffing firms and host employers and provide information and education that is vital to protecting temporary workers,” said David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.