As you consider whether or not to hire temporary employees, certain necessary considerations factor in – which affect temps as well as full-time employees. In the realm of liability, you have a duty to make sure every employee, no matter how long or short their duration with your company, has certain safety measures afforded to them. Fortunately, as of May 2014, OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) made an alliance with the American Staffing Association to help put those protections in place.
In short, all workers have certain rights, including that of safety, regardless of their time on the job. The alliance between OSHA and the ASA improves outreach to employers and staffing agencies, providing necessary education and information. This outreach goes not only to the companies and agencies but to their employees as well. Together, OSHA and ASA will educate staffing agencies and employers on their responsibilities to keep workers protected under the OSH Act, helping them recognize workplace hazards and how to avoid them. The pair will also focus on improving distribution of the information through such channels as electronic assistance tools (eTools, v-Tools, eMatrix, etc.), OSHA and ASA’s websites, and electronic and print media. OSHA has created numerous such alliances to prevent workplace injuries, fatalities, and illnesses.
ASA and OSHA’s partnership makes sense because, technically, a staffing agency and the temporary employer both have a form of control over the employee, bestowing responsibility for their safety on both parties. Here’s how:
- Staffing agencies have the obligation to examine the working conditions of their employees’ assigned workplaces, making sure each place is safe for candidates to work in.
- While staffing agencies don’t need to have expert knowledge of each employer’s hazards, they should make themselves aware of any existing conditions, possible hazards, and the best method of protection for temporary employees.
- The temporary or host employer must treat temporary workers the same as any other worker with regard to training, health, and safety protections.
- Communication between the staffing agency and the host employer is paramount for making this relationship work.
Remember, as an employer or a staffing agency, whether an employee works with you for three weeks or three years, they all must be afforded protection under the OSHA Act and must be adequately informed regarding health and safety training, as well as explanation of duties. If you have any questions regarding the latest alliance between OSHA and ASA, go to www.pridestaff.com/akron or www.osha.gov with any questions.