OSHA Temporary Worker Initiative Updates: What You Need to Know

February 13th, 2017

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Join Forces with Your Staffing Agency to Protect Temporary Workers

Anytime you bring a temporary employee to your office or warehouse, it is critical that you ensure their safety, just as you ensure for your permanent staff. As the host employer, you must work with your staffing agency to provide a safe work environment, pursuant to the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (the OSH Act). Coordinating efforts to make sure the temporary employee has access to the same health and safety training, as well as updated information as available, benefits both the professional employment agency and your organization. You, your staffing team, and your employee can work together in confidence that you have covered all the safety bases.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) notes that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) worked with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) as co-publishers of the best-practice guidance for temporary—or supplied—workers. However, OSHA remains the driving force for national workplace safety for all employees and continually monitors the needs of employees and updates its guidelines to reflect events and knowledge that serve to create a safer workplace for temporary staff members.

OSHA Provides Regular Updates to Help You Maintain Workplace Safety Compliance

Staying informed of all updates provided by OSHA gives you the inside track toward keeping your temporary team members safe, allowing you to reduce and eliminate hazards before they can wreak havoc and cause injury or illness. ABR Employment Services offers a basic safety overview to all new temporary employees before sending them to a client’s—or host employer’s—work site to help temporary workers understand strategies they can use to stay safe. Your part of the joint responsibility greatly relies on your organization’s safety leader regularly monitoring OSHA’s frequent requirement updates, providing the necessary information and training recommendations for permanent and temporary employees, and enforcing regulation compliance for everyone.

The TWI Serves to Help the Staffing Agency and Host Employer Stay Current on All Health and Safety Issues

OSHA provides a special series of updates for temporary workers, which the national health and safety body refers to as the Temporary Worker Initiative (TWI). The TWI serves to help the staffing agency and host employer work together for seamless health and safety.

What New Workplace Health and Safety Updates Are on the Horizon with OSHA?

  1. Temporary Worker Initiative Bulletin No. 6 – Bloodborne Pathogens. If your work environment involves a hospital, clinic, or another facility that may allow for a temporary worker’s exposure to blood pathogens, this bulletin features procedures to help prevent exposure. Bulletin No. 6 notes that bloodborne pathogens are microorganisms in human blood and other bodily fluids that can cause diseases, which may include hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The guide makes recommendations on taking special care to avoid needle sticks and other sharp-related incidents that could lead to the temporary worker’s injury.
  2. Temporary Worker Initiative Bulletin No. 7 – Powered Industrial Truck Training. Warehouse workers are frequently asked to use powered industrial trucks, such as forklifts, fork trucks, lift trucks, or pallet jacks. Even if your temporary worker has previous experience with this machinery, it is important that you provide training for your powered industrial trucks to ensure specific knowledge, a refresher training base, and compliance with safety requirements, according to OSHA.

If you have additional questions about these TWI updates, or any other workplace safety concerns or questions, contact your staffing representative at ABR for clarification and peace of mind. We appreciate our partnership with you in keeping our temporary workers safe.


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