In a recent Interpretation Letter, OSHA outlines how its laws and regulations are applied to employers with temporary staff and staffing agencies. Essentially, the letter explains that staffing agencies and the companies that hire them are responsible for creating a partnership in which both parties are responsible for keeping all employees safe.
When it comes to training, it’s expected that the temporary staffing agency ensures that employees receive necessary training and that the host company provide worksite-specific training. This is why when we tour a customer’s facility, we are on the lookout for equipment that could potentially be dangerous for staff who are untrained—and will work with our customer to develop worker training around it.
It’s also important to have a working partnership when it comes to reporting so that incidents are properly recorded. You already know that when your employees are injured on the job, the incident is recorded in your OSHA 300 report—but you may be surprised to learn that the same is pretty much true for your temporary staff. According to OSHA, the party responsible for day-to-day supervision of temporary employees is responsible for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses on their 300 report. This is different from workers’ compensation, which many staffing agencies handle (including DePaul Industries).
In the event that OSHA conducts a random audit and finds unsafe workplace conditions, both the host employer and staffing agency will be cited. Why does this matter? OSHA fines are costly—not to mention the impact on your reputation.
We all agree that workplace injuries are bad—no one wants their employees or anyone else to get hurt. Beyond this, though, as OSHA reminds us, it’s beneficial to your bottom-line to prioritize safety, even if you’re leaving other HR needs to a staffing firm. Beyond fines and citations, when employees have to miss work due to injury, their workload, of course, must be passed on to other workers or additional staff must be brought on to pick up the slack. The machinery and equipment used in light industrial job environments, while safe when used properly, can become a threat to workplace safety if misused. So on top of losing staff, an injury in the workplace will likely mean damaged equipment. This is all majorly detracts from productivity, which majorly detracts from the amount of revenue you’re able to bring in.
It’s in everyone’s best interest that staffing companies, the companies they work with, and their employees work together to create a partnership focused on safety. Starting off with a safe workplace with fully-trained staff—whether they’re your own or temps for hire—will help your business run smoothly and efficiently. You win, your employees win, and—oh yeah—your balance sheet does, too.
If you’re interested in creating a partnership and maintaining a safe work environment, give us a call.