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Protecting temporary workers in the construction industry

Posted by Smiley & Smiley on Oct 13, 2016 11:18:51 AM

The nature of construction work is such that temporary workers may be exposed to a number of dangerous situations. However, the question may arise as to who is responsible for ensuring worker safety. Safety+Health magazine explains that in order to help make a worksite environment safer, both the employer and the supplying agency should continuously work together to provide proper training when and where necessary.

While a staffing company may be providing workers with the paycheck, it is typically the host company that is assigning and managing worker duties. Since the host is directing the workers, it should provide the same level of training and care that it would to permanent employees. In the same instance, the agency should understand the job tasks being requested of the temporary employee, be familiar with the employer’s training practices and provide its own general safety training.

So, what specific steps can a staffing agency and employer take to work towards an effective strategy for protecting temporary employees? The Occupational Safety & Health Administration provides recommendations that include the following:

  • An agency should assess a host’s worksite prior to worker placement, identify potential hazards and work with the host to improve safety.
  • The companies should conduct their own complementary health and safety trainings or provide a shared training program.
  • Both employer and agency should track and report any injuries and illnesses to each other and work together to investigate incidents.
  • A temporary employee should be aware of the agency’s and host’s hazard and injury reporting procedures, and the agency should remain in contact with the employee to evaluate if a safe environment is being maintained.

By making a concerted effort to protect temporary workers through review, coordination and contracts, staffing companies and host employers may be able to reduce the number of accidents and injuries that occur on construction worksites.

Topics: Construction Accidents

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