Protecting temporary workers is equally as important as protecting permanent employees. In order to avoid accidents and injuries among temps in your workplace, take these five guidelines from OSHA’s Recommended Practices for Temporary Workers to heart:
Have a Worksite Evaluation for Staffing Agencies
Before you begin receiving temporary workers from staffing agencies, provide the agency with a walk-through of your workplace. Field questions and point out possible hazards that might put workers at risk. Develop a partnership with the staffing agency by providing ongoing updates regarding new and potential health and workplace hazards as they arise.
Alert Temporary Workers of Health and Workplace Hazards
Temp workers who are hired through a staffing agency must be alerted to the health and workplace hazards that they might encounter on the job. Consult with the staffing agency to request that they bring to light any workplace safety concerns. Consider having the temp employee sign a documentation which proves that workplace and health hazards were noted prior to accepting the job. Temps who are knowledgeable of these issues have the ability to protect themselves and prevent accidents or injuries from occurring.
Hire Workers with Safety Training
Another option for handling workplace safety training is to choose temps who have already received applicable safety training for the position. Consult with the staffing agency about filtering the applications of those who have not received such training. This can help reduce the risk of illness or injury of temp workers due to the lack of safety knowledge or experience in your specific industry.
Provide Temporary Workers with Safety Training
Just because the employees are only working for you temporarily does not mean they must be excluded from attending workplace safety training programs. Temporary employees are at risk, if not an increased risk due to a lack of on-the-job experience, of workplace injuries just like permanent employees. Create a catch-up safety training program for new hires—via a video presentation or in paper form—that highlights each of the safety concerns of your specific workplace, along with appropriate preventive measures.
Establish Illness and Injury Prevention Program Assessments
For staffing agencies, temporary worker assessments are part of the hiring process. In addition to performance assessments, however, you should create an ongoing illness and injury prevention program assessment for your workplace. This assessment must be given to the staffing agency. It states how efficient your safety training programs are in terms of consistency, adequacy, quality, and timeliness. Consider conducting this type of assessment at least once a year.
By implementing a plan to protect temporary workers from workplace injuries, everyone wins—from the employer, to the temporary employee, and even to the staffing agency. No one likes to see someone get hurt, much less killed, while doing their job. That is why it is important to provide temporary workers with safety training similar to the training provided for permanent employees.