June 16, 2015 BOS 2015-123
Temporary staffing company agrees to implement
changes to protect employees at all its work sites
'This is . . . what suppliers of temporary employees should be doing': OSHA
BOSTON – A Tyngsboro company that supplies temporary employees to businesses has agreed to enhanced workplace safety and health protections for workers it places in all those businesses in a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor.
The department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Marathon Staffing Services Inc. for a serious violation in December 2014 for not providing hearing tests for its employees exposed to high noise levels while working on assignment at Concrete Systems Inc. in Hudson, New Hampshire.
Under the terms of the agreement, Marathon will have a qualified safety and health professional review and update a checklist to address foreseeable safety and health concerns at client workplaces. The list will be used to conduct initial and periodic safety and health inspections or audits at client work sites to ensure working conditions meet OSHA standards.
Marathon will also provide comprehensive safety and health training for its account executives and sales representatives. The company will develop, with each of its clients, written contracts specifying their respective responsibilities to develop safety and health programs applicable to each workplace where Marathon will supply temporary employees. These terms echo OSHA's recommended practice that temporary staffing agencies and host employers define and implement their respective roles designed to ensure compliance with applicable OSHA standards.
"This is an example of what suppliers of temporary employees should be doing," said Kim Stille, OSHA's regional administrator for New England. "Both host employers and staffing agencies have critical roles in complying with workplace health and safety requirements. They share responsibility for ensuring worker safety and health. Each employer should consider hazards it can prevent and correct, and no employer - whether a temporary staffing agency or a client company - should ever send an employee into harm's way."
"This settlement ripples beyond this one case. It is designed to enhance safety and health for hundreds of Marathon employees at numerous work sites in several states. Other suppliers and employers of temporary workers can and should take heed and ensure that all employees - permanent, short-term or day laborer - work in an environment that enables them to come home each day safe and healthy," said Michael Felsen, the department's regional solicitor of labor for New England.
Marathon Staffing Services Inc. operates in several states and is part of a Marathon Staffing network of connected offices that collectively place more than 15,000 temporary workers annually.
The settlement in this case was negotiated by senior trial attorney Susan Salzberg of the Regional Solicitor's Office.
In April 2013, OSHA announced an initiative to improve workplace safety and health for temporary workers, who are at increased risk of work-related injury and illness. The initiative includes outreach, training and enforcement to ensure that temporary workers are protected in their workplaces. OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health have issued a "Recommended Practices*" publication that focuses on ensuring that temporary workers receive the same training and protection that permanent employees receive.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or contact their local OSHA office.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
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Secretary of Labor v. Marathon Staffing Services Inc.
OSHRC Docket # 15-0146
Release Number: 15-1105-BOS
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