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Protecting Temporary Workers

Employers are responsible for protecting temporary workers in the same manner as existing employees, i.e. all workers have a right to a safe workplace. There needs to be a clear understanding of the employer’s role in protecting employees. The temporary staffing agency and the host employer need to set out their respective responsibilities for compliance with applicable OSHA standards in their contract. This will ensure that employers comply with all relevant regulatory requirements.

Staffing agencies and host employers are jointly responsible for maintaining a safe work environment for temporary workers including, but not limited to, ensuring that OSHA’s training, hazard communication and recordkeeping requirements are fulfilled.

OSHA has concerns that some employers may use temporary workers as a way to avoid meeting all their compliance obligations under the OSH Act and other worker protection laws; that temporary workers get placed in a variety of jobs, including the most hazardous jobs; that temporary workers are more vulnerable to workplace safety and health hazards and retaliation than workers in traditional employment relationships; that temporary workers are often not given adequate safety and health training or explanations of their duties by either the temporary staffing agency or the host employer. Therefore, it is essential that both employers comply with all relevant OSHA requirements.

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