OSHA Emphasizes Joint Responsibility Between Temporary Staffing Firms and Clients
From April through mid-July, 262 inspections were conducted that identified temporary workers exposed to safety hazards. Of these inspections, 270 violations were cited. To minimize potential citations and help clarify the roles between temporary staffing firms and their clients, we provided a summary from the webinar conducted between OSHA and the American Staffing Association.
Five Important Takeaways
- Staffing agencies and their clients are jointly responsible for ensuring safe work conditions for temporary workers. This means if an OSHA inspection was done and inadequacies were found, both parties could potentially be cited.
- Both the staffing agency and their client should have a written health and safety program addressing potential hazards and protective measures in place.
- Both are responsible for performing a hazard assessment of the worksite. The client should be completing this on a regular basis and the staffing agency should conduct their own prior to sending any temporary workers.
- A written contract should be in place specifying the type of work temporary workers will be doing. Often, temporary workers are moved off of their initial assignment without notice, so defining this within the contract will help discourage the practice.
- Both are responsible for conducting new project orientation training that includes general safety topics, as well as worksite specific issues.
- In cases where the staffing agency provides general training and the client provides job-specific training, the staffing agency must have a reasonable basis for believing the training covers the required topics.
- Overall, OSHA states its the responsibility of the staffing agency to ensure employees have received proper training (Tip: ask clients for copies of sign-in sheets that document the training).
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