10/23/2014 Illinois: Temporary worker killed in fall from third floor loading platform.
4/17/2014 Florida. Temporary worker killed in fall from sanitation truck.
3/12/2014 Arkansas: Temporary worker killed in fall from rooftop.
12/7/2013 Illinois: Temporary worker died after forklift he was operating fell between truck and dock.
12/4/2013 New Jersey: Temporary worker died in fall after being caught in a sorter.
"Host employers need to treat temporary workers as they treat existing employees. Temporary staffing agencies and host employers share control over the employee, and are therefore jointly responsible for temp employee's safety and health. It is essential that both employers comply with all relevant OSHA requirements."
David Michaels, PhD, MPH, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health
To ensure that there is a clear understanding of each employer's role in protecting employees, OSHA recommends that the temporary staffing agency and the host employer set out their respective responsibilities for compliance with applicable OSHA standards in their contract. Including such terms in a contract will ensure that each employer complies with all relevant regulatory requirements, thereby avoiding confusion as to the employer's obligations.
While the extent of responsibility under the law of staffing agencies and host employers is dependent on the specific facts of each case, staffing agencies and host employers are jointly responsible for maintaining a safe work environment for temporary workers - including, for example, ensuring that OSHA's training, hazard communication, and recordkeeping requirements are fulfilled.
OSHA could hold both the host and temporary employers responsible for the violative condition(s) - and that can include lack of adequate training regarding workplace hazards. Temporary staffing agencies and host employers share control over the worker, and are therefore jointly responsible for temporary workers' safety and health.
OSHA has concerns that some employers may use temporary workers as a way to avoid meeting all their compliance obligations under the OSH Act and other worker protection laws; that temporary workers get placed in a variety of jobs, including the most hazardous jobs; that temporary workers are more vulnerable to workplace safety and health hazards and retaliation than workers in traditional employment relationships; that temporary workers are often not given adequate safety and health training or explanations of their duties by either the temporary staffing agency or the host employer. Therefore, it is essential that both employers comply with all relevant OSHA requirements.
Both host employers and staffing agencies have roles in complying with workplace health and safety requirements and they share responsibility for ensuring worker safety and health.
A key concept is that each employer should consider the hazards it is in a position to prevent and correct, and in a position to comply with OSHA standards. For example: staffing agencies might provide general safety and health training, and host employers provide specific training tailored to the particular workplace equipment/hazards.
Workers have a right to a safe workplace. If you think your job is unsafe or you have questions, contact OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742). It's confidential. We can help. For other valuable worker protection information, such as Workers' Rights, Employer Responsibilities and other services OSHA offers, visit OSHA's Workers' page.
OSHA also provides help to employers. OSHA's On-site Consultation Program offers free and confidential advice to small and medium-sized businesses in all states across the country, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. For more information or for additional compliance assistance, contact OSHA at 1‑800‑321‑OSHA (6742).
July 28, 2015 [Region 5 News Release] 30-year-old temporary worker needs surgery after her hand catches in packaging machine at Oak Creek, Wisconsin, food manufacturer
July 22, 2015 [Region 6 News Release] Texas worker injured after being denied safety equipment; employers cited
July 16, 2015 [Region 6 News Brief] Workers risked dangerous falls at Shenandoah, Texas, worksite
July 16, 2015 [Region 5 News Release] Manufacturer cited by OSHA after press crushes worker's finger
July 13, 2015 [Region 4 News Brief] Refrigeration company puts temporary and permanent workers at risk of ammonia exposure due to poor maintenance of coolant systems
Transcript of webinar on employer responsibility and best practices with OSHA and the American Staffing Association (View webinar)
[wmv file **]
* From OSHA's webinar with the American Staffing Association
** Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA’s Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing WMV and PDF materials.