OSHA & Temporary Worker Initiative

In 2013, OSHA launched the Temporary Worker Initiative (TWI) to help prevent work-related injuries and illnesses among temporary workers. OSHA understands that workplace injuries happen more often with new employees, putting temporary workers at a greater risk of injury because they will be considered new employees multiple times a year. This goal of this initiative is for OSHA to focus on temporary employees to ensure these workers are protected from workplace hazards.

It is important that both the employee and employer understand a few terms regarding temporary workers and their safety.

Host Employment – This is the employer who has general supervisory authority over the worksite, including controlling the means and manner of work performed and having the power to correct safety and health hazards or require others to correct them.

Staffing Agency – A firms that provides temporary workers to host employers. A staffing agency hires its own employees and assigns them to support or supplement a client's workforce in situations involving employee absences, temporary skill shortages, seasonal workloads, and special projects.

Joint Employment (Co-Employment) – This is the sharing of control and supervision of an employee's activity among two or more business entities. As joint employers, both the host employer and the staffing agency have responsibilities for protecting the safety and health of the temporary worker under the OSH Act.

Hazards in the workplace will typically be the host employer’s responsibility for site-specific training, and the staffing agency is required to provide generic training for their employees. It is necessary that both employers communicate with each other when a worker is injured.  Together, they will determine what measures need to be implemented to prevent future injuries from occurring. When preventing work-related injuries, communication between all parties is necessary to provide a safe work environment.

To view the original post discussing the policy, click here.