How Temporary and Contract Workers Affect Your Safety Program

Employers can enjoy many benefits from hiring temporary workers, contractors and on-call workers — a group that is collectively known as “non-permanent” workers. The flexibility that allows them to quickly respond to changing workloads is a key driver, as is the ability to bring in specialized help and expertise on an as-needed basis for tasks such as confined-space work.

The arrangement offers benefits for workers, too; many who work on a contract or contingent basis have chosen to do so and prefer to work this way.

Unfortunately, organizations that have abused the system of temporary and contract labor have drawn scrutiny from regulatory and enforcement agencies, casting a shadow over the system’s benefits. Employers must be aware of new regulations that aim to ensure the health and safety of temporary and contract workers, such as OSHA’s Temporary Worker Initiative.

Along with compliance, employers must stay up to speed on other … Read more...

Managing Temporary Worker Safety in the Construction Industry

In recent months OSHA and NIOSH have begun cracking down on organizations for their historically lax treatment of temporary workers in regard to safety. The reasoning for this increased attention, along with subsequent stiff fines is twofold. According to Dave Michaels, OSHA’s Assistant Secretary of Labor, there are 23% more temporary workers in the job market than there were before the recession. This in combination with the fact that temporary workers are 3-4 times more likely to be injured or killed on the job has contributed to a rash of recent incidents.  OSHA’s Temporary Worker Initiative (TWI), officially announced in April 2013, affects all industries but in particular manufacturing and construction, which traditionally employ the most temporary workers and contractors.  This increased focus can have a significant impact both on brand and financial bottom lines.

Who is responsible?

With the majority of temporary workers coming from staffing agencies it is … Read more...

EHS budgeting, OSHA Temporary Worker Initiative update, Malaysia Airlines’ missing flight, and more on EHS This Week.

On this week’s edition of EHS This Week we’ve got the week’s top stories in environment, health and safety news:

  • The importance of safety role models
  • Six steps for efficient EHS budgeting
  • OSHA’s Temporary Worker Initiative update
  • Wildfires encourage international collaboration
  • Malaysia Airlines: Missing Flight 370

Remember to write us with your suggestions, questions and comments. Also, if you are an industry expert and ever want to take part in the program, we’d love to have you.

Until next week, enjoy the program!

EHS This Week Resources

For more information on the stories and resources mentioned in this week’s podcasts, check out the links below.

  • Six Steps for Efficient EHS Budgeting. Read it here.
  • OSHA Temporary Worker Initiative Bulletin. Read it here.
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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 … Read more...