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Employer Responsibility, OSHA and Temporary Employees

risk A recent article on the US Department of Labor website under OSHA states: “…OSHA recommends that the temporary staffing agency and the host employer set out their respective responsibilities for compliance with applicable OSHA standards…

Temporary staffing inside your company is more and more visible as regulations around employer responsibility, OSHA and temporary employees become easier and easier to monitor and enforce.

Technology advances (the internet, video, online reporting, training tools, certification programs and other advances) have made a significant impact on both staffing agencies and their clients.

It’s best not to take these changes lightly. Change can be hard to adopt, but if you are working with a staffing agency that has always held safety to a higher standard, you won’t notice the change much.

If your staffing agency can’t support your needs for reporting and compliance, you need to reconsider if the risk is higher than the reward for low-quality service from that kind of provider.

Are you ready for the coming changes outlined by OSHA affecting your workplace?

This shift in OSHA’s interest in temporary staffing shows up in this website, and in the outreach efforts ongoing. Most recently, this webinar on Protecting the Safety of Temporary Workers presented by Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor For Occupational Safety and Health.

There are some basics you should evaluate when engaging a temporary staffing agency, when it come to safety. Let’s look at a few.

  1. Contracts and agreements. Are the responsibilities clearly outlined in the temporary agency’s contracts and agreements you and employees sign? Ask to have a look at the temporary agencies process manual. Since safety can’t be implemented after an accident, it requires collaboration between staffing agency, host/client company and the temporary employee. Look for acknowledgement forms and agreements that show strong collaboration and shared responsibility between parties.
  2. Core competency. Has safety pervaded your temporary agency’s culture? How can you tell? Just Ask. Talk to the people you engage with. Ask to meet their safety manager. Is managing safety a full time role, or an afterthought assigned to someone with no authority to make policy inside your staffing agency?
  3. Training. What standard training is provided by your staffing firm? What training is offered onsite, and what training programs are implemented collaboratively to ensure temporary workers operate in as safe a manner as your full time employees?
  4. Safety committee. Does your staffing agency have a safety committee that meets regularly in order to discuss issues, concerns and ongoing innovation to improve safety for you, the client, and temporary employees in their workforce.
  5. Onsite. Does your staffing agency participate in your firm’s safety initiatives with an equal seat at your safety committee’s table, and collaboratively to ensure issues are discussed and innovation is deployed in real time, before it is necessary?

This takes effort to do, but ensuring you have a staffing agency partner that supports the initiative your company is driving is critical to the balance. It affects your safety record, and the risk factors your firm ultimately pays for in terms of premiums. Specifically:

  • Accidents due to poor safety in the workplace cause your insurance rates to rise.
  • Accidents in your workplace cause your staffing partner’s insurance rates to rise too.
  • Ultimately, your company will pay for both these increases, until risk factors are reduced, and a record of safety is re-established.

Barton Staffing Solutions has a full time safety manager on staff. We focus on “managing safety first.” Our goal is not to manage accidents, after the fact, but prevention and innovation that benefits our clients, employees, and all parties such that business results can be achieved. Call Barton Staffing Solutions today to learn more.