The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, also known as OSHA, is an agency that is dedicated to upholding the safety, health and ethical treatment of workers in the United States. As such, they are responsible for establishing and enforcing regulations involving employee health and safety in the workplace.
Staffing agencies, however, are in a unique position. Since the Temporary Worker Initiative was implemented in 2013, both host employers and staffing agencies are responsible for ensuring the long-term health and safety of workers. Sharing responsibility for the health and safety of job seekers who secure work through the agency, staffing firms can do a lot to both prevent and correct any specific workplace hazards. With this in mind, there are a number of things a staffing agency can do to help safeguard today’s workforce from jobsite incidents.
David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor with Occupational Safety and Health, spoke about this joint responsibility by saying: “Host employers need to treat temporary workers as they treat existing employees. Temporary staffing agencies and host employers share control over the employee, and are therefore jointly responsible for temp employee’s safety and health. It is essential that both employers comply with all relevant OSHA requirements.”
Promote Safety Training to Recruits and Employees
One of the best ways a staffing agency can have a direct impact on the long-term health and safety of their recruits is to promote their own safety programs. This can be accomplished simply by distributing pamphlets to new applicants or by posting safety-oriented posters or bulletins, or it can also be accomplished by mandating safety programs of your own. While staffing agencies do not necessarily need to become experts on the unique hazards of every single workplace, they should be able to provide introductory safety and health training. Further, site-specific safety training should be provided through the host employer.
Assess the Host Employer’s Facilities
Before agreeing to a partnership with a new host employer, staffing agencies should always take the time to review and analyze the employer’s facilities. This helps staffing agencies gain a better understanding of any specific or unique hazards that may be encountered by recruits on a day-to-day basis. Moreover, this ensures that all host employers meet the standards defined by OSHA as well as the staffing agency. In fact, OSHA requires that all host employers are verified for safety and health compliance.
Maintain Ongoing Communication with Host Employers
Staffing agencies should also communicate with their host employers on a regular basis, in order to share information regarding safety in the workplace. This gives host employers a good idea on what safety concepts an applicant may already be aware of, and it gives staffing agencies a little peace of mind by sending in a recruit who has, at the least, a rudimentary understanding of health and safety in the workplace. Moreover, the Temporary Worker Initiative of 2013 mandates some amount of communication between a staffing agency and a host employer, especially after a workplace accident, injury or illness.
Whether you’re looking to replace one employee for a day or to hire several hundred employees indefinitely, Automation Personnel Services has a proven track record for recruiting, tracking and managing payroll for as many – or as few – employees as you need. Contact our great team of recruiters today to work with a top technical staffing agency.