OSHA’s Effects on Temporary Workers

In the past year, OSHA has broadened their initiatives to protect temporary employees from workplace hazards. This focus on the safety of temporary workers has tightened the standards for business owners looking to hire temporary employees. Organizations who fail to meet these standards face serious OSHA fines for violations and liabilities.

As a result of a recent death of a temporary employee, inspections revealed that many temp workers had not been fully trained or provided protective equipment, making them vulnerable to serious workplace hazards. These hazards included misuse of toxic chemicals, lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), lockout and tag-out protection violations, and more. These are only a few of the hazards temp workers are dealing with in the workforce.

To combat the lack of safety for temp workers, OSHA inspectors will assess whether employers who use temporary workers are complying with their responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Inspectors will check to see if employees are properly trained and are meeting the requirements to fulfill their day to day duties. They will also assess whether temporary workers received required training in a language and vocabulary they could understand. If employers fail to provide adequate protection to temporary workers, OSHA will issue a citation.

Thousands of workers die each year on the job from preventable hazards, many of which are temporary workers. Workers’ Memorial Day is observed nationally on April 28 to remember workers who have perished in the workplace. These short-term workers usually perform the most dangerous jobs and do not receive adequate training or protective equipment. This day is dedicated to remember the lives that have been lost and to encourage organizations to continuously improve their safety practices and safety culture.

In addition, OSHA has begun working with the American Staffing Association and employers that use staffing agencies to promote best practices ensuring that temporary workers are protected from job hazards.

Intelex provides configurable safety software solutions with training management and daily inspections, which can assist businesses to ensure every worker has the necessary training to safely complete their day-to-day work. With email reminders, training status and history information, owners can be confident with the workers they put out in the field. Daily Inspections allow organizations to prevent these serious problems from happening, thus resulting in no fines from OSHA and having a safe work environment for everyone.

Workers have a right to a safe workplace. If you think your job is unsafe or you have questions, you should contact OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742). It’s confidential and they will provide assistance. For other valuable worker protection information, such as Workers’ Rights, Employer Responsibilities and other services OSHA offers, visit OSHA’s Workers’ page.

OSHA also provides help to employers. OSHA’s On-site Consultation Program offers free and confidential advice to small and medium-sized businesses in all states, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. For more information or for additional compliance assistance, contact OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).

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