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OSHA regulations and temporary workers

One of the consequences of the slowed economy of the past few years is that fewer people are employed full time. Part-time and temporary workers are being used to complete work assignments in Mississippi. This presents a unique issue concerning worker safety. Employers are responsible for the safety of both temporary and regular workers.

First the question of who is responsible for the safety of the workers must be addressed. Generally, there is a joint responsibility between the staffing company and the host company for the employee and therefore a shared responsibility for any liability. OSHA is concerned that some employers will utilize temporary workers to skirt federal regulations. Temporary workers are at greater risk for workplace injuries due to inadequate safety and training. OSHA hopes to prevent this from happening by requiring both host employee and temporary agency to both be in compliance.

Each employer must take measures to protect workers from hazards that the employer is in a position to prevent and correct. A temporary agency may provide general health and safety training for temporary workers. However, a host employer may provide specific health and safety training on equipment or hazards that are specific to that workplace.

Temporary workers have the same rights to protection in the workplace as have other workers. Depending on the case, a temporary worker may be eligible for workers’ compensation. Work accidents can severely affect an individual’s quality of life. Ultimately a worker’s ability to work can be permanently affected. When this happens, an individual may seek to file a workers’ compensation claim for recovery of damages from injuries.

Source: : The U.S. Department of Labor, “Protecting Temporary Workers,” accessed May 18, 2015

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