Companies choose to work with staffing agencies for many different reasons, often to help reduce various costs of hiring. When it comes to safety, however, if employers fail to understand their responsibility in protecting temporary workers, a visit from OSHA can lead to devastating fines and costs that can be incurred in order to protect the business and the individuals that work there.
To help minimize that risk, here are 5 tips to ensure compliance with OSHA standards when it comes to Temporary Staffing Safety.
- What does OSHA say? The best way to minimize any “grey area” risk between the host employer and staffing agency is for both parties to sit down and review up-to-date, applicable OSHA standards. While HR teams and/or legal teams should be charged with leading the meeting, don’t forget to include other supervisory and/or lead teams that work directly with your temps. Getting them involved in this type of meeting helps ensure they, too, are up-to-date on applicable OSHA guidelines.
- Know Your Role: Although both the host employer and the staffing agency share in the responsibility to keep the workers safe, each party needs to have a clear understanding of what their specific roles are. For example, the host employer should be most concerned about any and all hazards that exist in their workplace, as well as prevent and correct any hazards that could threaten the safety of any full time and temporary employees working in their facility. The staffing agency’s role is to become educated on potential hazards specific to each workplace, and if they have the resources available, team up with the host employers to aid and support necessary training for ALL employees. The staffing agency also needs to establish ongoing safety communication best practices to verify that the host employer stays on top of their responsibility to provide a safe working environment. Although the Staffing Agency is not required to be an expert on specific workplace hazards, providing general safety awareness training to all temps during the on-boarding process serves as a great first step to making their temporary workforce, safety aware.
- Put it in writing: A written Safety Plan that outlines specific roles and responsibilities of both the host employer and staffing agency will help provide clear direction to all parties when it comes to such things as:
- Safety Training Requirements
- Who is responsible for providing any necessary PPE
- What to do in the event of an injury
- Accident investigation policies
- Return to work guidelines
- Procedures to report unsafe practices and/or conditions
(More on the topic of Written Safety Plans to come in future blog post)
- Record Keeping: OSHA requires their OSHA 300 log to be kept the host employer, since they are providing the day-to-day supervision of the employees. With that being said, it is important that the OSHA 300 log contains up-to-date information on ALL workplace injuries and illnesses, including those that have occurred to temporary employees. In addition, making this available to the Staffing Agency ensures they can do their part in supporting the host employer’s ongoing training efforts to minimize workplace injuries.
- Make safety a priority for ALL WORKERS: Although both host employer and staffing agency share in the responsibility of the safety of the temporary workforce, it is important to note, that in the event of an OSHA investigation, more often than not, the host employer will be more heavily impacted by any citations. This is due to the fact that they are more responsible for supervising day-to-day safety. Therefore, to minimize injury risks, and to ensure the host agency’s business is protected, it is important to work together to help maximize efforts in making safety a priority for ALL WORKERS.
For more information on making Temporary Staffing Safety a priority in your workplace, contact us at any time to learn more on how we can help.
At Labor Solutions, we are the key to safety!