OSHA Launches Initiative to Protect Temporary Workers
In conjunction with the observation of Workers Memorial Day, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced an initiative to further protect temporary employees from workplace hazards. A memorandum was sent to the agency's regional administrators directing field inspectors to assess whether employers who use temporary workers are complying with their responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
According to the release, "Inspectors will use a newly created code in their information system to denote when temporary workers are exposed to safety and health violations. Additionally, they'll assess whether temporary workers received required training in a language and vocabulary they could understand. The memo, which can be viewed at http://s.dol.gov/ZM, underscores the duty of employers to protect all workers from hazards."
OSHA is now working with the American Staffing Association as well as other employers that use staffing agencies to promote safe, onsite practices. This will help ensure temporary workers are protected from job hazards.
To Put in PerspectiveIn recent months, OSHA received a series of reports about temporary workers suffering fatal injuries many during their first days on a job. OSHA issued citations when the employer failed to provide adequate protections, including safety training.
Data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries states that fatal work injuries involving contractors accounted for 542 or 12 percent of the 4,693 fatal work injuries reported in 2011. Hispanic/Latino contractors accounted for 28 percent of fatal work injuries among contractors, which is well above their 16 percent share of the overall fatal work injury total for the year.
Take ActionTo do your part in reducing risks and fatalities in the workplace, keep up with our blog. You can also contact your insurance broker or carrier to see what risk management and safety training options are available.
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