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NACOSH Workgroup meeting – 2/11/14

Attendees – Anne Foote Soiza, Mark Carleson, James Johnson, Dr. Linda Rae Murray, Joseph Van Houten, Margaret Seminario, Peter Dooley, Lida Orta-Anes [by phone]
Staff – Amanda Edens, Michelle Walker, Gretta Jameson, Sarah Shortall

The workgroup got an update on OSHA policies related to temporary workers. Discussions revolved around identifying any gaps in protection of temporary workers are concerned. Experiences from other States [Washington and Michigan] were shared and there were questions about the definition of temporary workers vs. contract workers. The workgroup will continue to discuss this issue.

The committee agreed on the following:

  1. There needs to be clarity that all workers in all types of employment arrangements have equal rights to a safe and healthy workplace. OSHA and NIOSH need to support the achievement of those rights.
  2. The workgroup recognizes the concept of joint responsibility of host employer and staffing agency for temporary workers, unless there is some written agreement between those two parties assigning responsibility. OSHA should do whatever it takes to clarify any confusion that currently exists about which party or both are responsible for compliance with requirements.
  3. There is a need to continue to fill gaps in the data about the role of temporary [and contract] workers in today’s workforce. OSHA, NIOSH and BLS and others need to identify how to gather and analyze additional information about the use of temporary and contract workers and any challenges to assure their rights to a health and safety workplace.
  4. There are many changes occurring in employment relationships including the increased use temporary and contractor employees. OSHA and NIOSH need to develop strategies to address these changing patterns and assure the no group of workers are getting left behind in achieving health and safety in all workplaces.
  5. OSHA and NIOSH should consider some additional actions to assure equal protection of all workers:
  • Specifying the joint responsibility of employers in any future standards such as the Injury/Illness Prevention Program [Occupational Health and Safety Program Standard].
  • Use the ANSI/AIHA Z10 standard as a reference to provide a model for employer responsibilities and worker rights in a Health and Safety Management System approach to Occupational Health and Safety Programs.