Safety groups want better protections for temp workers

Temporary workers face many hazards in Pennsylvania and throughout the United States. Permanent workers often receive more training and receive better benefits from their employers. Temporary workers, on the other hand, are just that: temporary. Many employers don’t take the time or effort to make sure these workers are prepared to safety perform their job duties, and temporary workers continue to face serious risks for injuries while working.

To address the dangers temporary workers face, many workplace safety groups are urging the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to create a program that keeps track of hazardous industries that use temp workers to help compliance officers investigate hazardous workplaces and companies that constantly violate safety regulations.

The safety groups want OSHA to create a program to help increase workplace safety for temp workers. Specifically, the groups are asking OSHA to clarify safety and health responsibilities for temp agencies and companies using temp workers. One request is to make clear who will provide protective safety equipment and training for temp workers.

They also want the program to make sure OSHA compliance officers investigating hazards and accidents are all trained the same way to make sure all officers know how to investigate workplaces with temp workers that typically have two employers.

The dangers in the workplace for temp workers have been highlighted by safety advocates for a long time. Temp workers face many risks due to the lack of training they receive and not feeling comfortable reporting safety hazards to their supervisors. Temp workers are also used in very hazardous jobs like construction, fishing and waste recycling. All these factors increase the risk for temp workers to be hurt in a workplace accident.

Hopefully OSHA will implement new programs to help keep temp workers safe. All workers deserve to be protected from injuries on-the-job, and it is up to OSHA and employers to make sure safety regulations and programs are keeping workers safe.

Source: OH&S, “OSHA Urged to Launch Temp Worker Emphasis Program,” Nov. 5, 2013

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