Employer Responsibilities For Temporary Construction Workers
Protecting Temporary Workers
Host employers should treat temporary construction workers as they treat current employees. Host employers and the temporary staffing agencies share control over an employee and are all responsible for the health and safety of a temporary worker. It’s imperative that all employers comply with all the applicable OSHA requirements.
To ensure that there’s a clear understanding of the role of every employer in protecting their workers, OSHA recommends that the temporary staffing agency and the host employer should set out their own responsibilities for compliance with the relevant OSHA requirements in their own contract.
Including such crucial terms in the contract will ensure that every worker complies with all the relevant regulatory requirements, thus avoiding any confusion as to the obligations of the employer.
Although the level of responsibility under the law of the host employers and the staffing agencies is dependent on the certain facts of every case, staffing agencies and the host employers are all responsible for maintaining a safer work environment for temporary workers – including, for example, ensuring that OSHA’s hazard communication, record-keeping, and training requirements are fulfilled.
OSHA could hold both the temporary staffing agencies and the host employers responsible for violated condition(s) – and that can include lack of sufficient training concerning workplace hazards. Host employers and the temporary staffing agencies share full control over an employee and are all responsible for the safety and health of all temporary construction workers.
OSHA has raised concerns that some employers may use temporary construction workers as a way to avoid meeting all their compliance responsibilities under OSH Act and some other worker protection laws; that temporary construction workers get placed in different jobs, including the most dangerous jobs; that temporary construction employees are more vulnerable to the workplace safety and health hazards and the retaliation than the workers in the traditional employment relationships; that temporary construction workers are usually not provided sufficient safety and health training or proper explanations of their duties by either the host employer or temporary staffing agency. So, it’s important that both employers comply with all relevant OSHA requirements.
Both Staffing Agencies and the Host Employers Have Roles
Both staffing agencies and the host employers have roles in complying with the workplace safety and health standards, and they share full responsibility for ensuring temporary construction workers’ safety and health standards are maintained.
The main concept is that every employer needs to consider the hazards it’s in a position to prevent, correct, and to comply with the OSHA standards. For instance: staffing agencies might offer general health and safety training, and host employers provide specific training customized to the specific workplace equipment/hazards.
- The staffing agencies have a responsibility to inquire into their workers’ conditions assigned workplaces. They must ensure that they’re sending their construction workers to a safer work environment.
- The key is communication between the host and the agency to ensure that the required protections are provided.
- Ignorance of hazards isn’t an excuse.
- Staffing agency has the responsibility to query and verify that the host has satisfied its duties for a safe workplace.
- Staffing agencies should not become professionals on particular workplace dangers, but they should determine the conditions which exist at their client (host) agencies, hazards that may be encountered, and how best to guarantee the protection for temporary construction workers.
- And, just as important: The host employers must treat temporary construction employees like any other workers regarding training and health and safety protections.