Use of temporary workers continues to increase in the U.S. – there was already a 682% increase in temporary workers between 1992 and 2017, jumping from 341,884 to 2.7 million – and now there’s a new guidebook for protecting them.
On July 18, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released “Protecting temporary workers: best practices for host employers,” a new guidebook to ensure temporary workers stay safe on the job.
This guidebook applies to any company employing temporary workers through staffing firms in any industry and covers the responsibilities and roles of both the host employer and the staffing company, according to law firm Cozen O’Connor.
In 2014, OSHA and NIOSH worked together on a similar handbook, called “Recommended Practices: Protecting Temporary Workers,” which the new guidebook expands upon.
Info on contracts that consider safety, health
The guidebook contains three primary sections:
- evaluation and contracting
- training for temporary workers and their worksite supervisors, and
- injury and illness reporting, response and recordkeeping.
There’s also a section containing a list of information and resources.
The evaluation and contracting section is particularly notable in that it provides information on putting together a written contract that specifies:
- job details
- communication and documentation responsibilities
- injury and illness reporting and response, and
- other aspects of workplace safety and health.
Not a replacement for ‘industry-specific considerations’
An appendix provides printable sample checklists of best practices for host employers on evaluation and contracting, training and reporting. The guidebook notes that the person completing the checklist should be knowledgeable about the worksite, tasks and hazards along with hazard controls, training, PPE and supervision.
Cozen O’Connor notes that this guidebook isn’t legally binding and can be “used as a tool to bolster temporary worker safety but should not be considered a wholesale replacement for any industry-specific considerations.”