OSHA Looking To Better Protect Temporary Workers

Businesses that use temporary workers should know that OSHA will now be paying closer attention to how those workers are trained and to what extent they are exposed to safety and health violations. In many recent announcements and speeches, OSHA has been talking about the need to ensure temporary workers receive the necessary safety training and are looked after on the job.

To that end, OSHA recently issued a memorandum to regional administrators detailing OSHA’s concern about temporary workers “suffering fatal injuries during the first days on the job. In some cases, the employer failed to provide safety training or, if some instruction was given, it inadequately addressed the hazard, and this failure contributed to their death.”

In addition to outlining OSHA’s new push to protect temporary workers, the memo details a new code for tracking temporary worker exposure to hazards in the workplace.

In its announcement of the new initiative, OSHA’s Dr. David Michaels says that "Many of those killed and injured are temporary workers who often perform the most dangerous jobs have limited English proficiency and are not receiving the training and protective measures required.”

Supporting its claim, OSHA points to data from BLS that shows 12% of workplace fatal injuries in 2011 involved contractors, and of those contractors, 28% were Hispanic/Latino.