This past June, OSHA cited a vegetable processor in Texas and their staffing company over $135,000 because they exposed temporary workers to highly dangerous noise exposures, toxic chemicals, and a few other safety hazards. OSHA also fined California Cereal Products over $40,000 because the company exposed both temporary and full-time employees to fall, electrical, and noise hazards. There is an increasing trend in that OSHA is focusing on temporary worker safety. These are only two of the five recent companies that were cited by OSHA. Four of the five were staffing companies that had several safety violations that ended up with a temporary worker fatality at Amazon.
OSHA is noticing that temporary workers are increasing in the workplace, and workplace injuries are increasing as a result because they are not adequately trained on the job at hand. The temporary workers are often thrown into positions where they have little to know experience when compared to full-time employees. Staffing agencies and employers who hire temporary workers are now the target of OSHA’s temporary worker safety initiative. According to a BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics report), sixteen percent of workplace fatalities in 2012 involved temporary workers and contractors.
Staffing agencies and employers need to take a look at their safety and health training programs for temporary and contract workers so they can reduce workplace injuries. Bay Environmental Strategies is a safety consulting firm that can assess your company’s safety training program and tailor training to temporary workers so they are knowledgeable about safety hazards before they start their first day of work.