Equal Safety for all Employees -Even Temporary Employees

Has your business ever utilized the assistance of temporary employees? If so, you may be familiar with the many benefits associated with employing the help temporary employees. The most common benefits include flexibility, convenience, cost savings, and even specialization. Many staffing companies which specialize in recruiting temporary employees are able to provide a business with a temporary employee within just 24 hours of the initial request. This makes it very easy for a business to get some extra help when they need it, especially during busy seasons. Furthermore, by choosing this option there really isn’t any commitment. Technically the employer can let the temporary worker go at any point when he or she is no longer needed. However, even though there are many benefits associated with utilizing the help of temporary employees, there is also one pretty large component that many employers fail to consider – the safety of temporary employees.

Don’t Assume that Temporary Employees know all Safety Practices

One big mistake that many employers make is to assume that temporary employees are not their employees so they fail to provide them with adequate safety training. While the truth is that even though temporary employees are not technically on the company payroll, they are still considered employees based upon OHSA’s criteria.

An “employee” is not defined by OSHA based on who pays them. What matters is whether there is an employer-employee relationship between the parties. Some criteria OSHA uses to determine that relationship:

  • The nature and degree of control the hiring party asserts over the manner in which the work is done
  • The degree of skill and independent judgment the temporary worker is expected to apply
  • The extent to which the services provided are an integral part of the employer’s business
  • The right of the employer to assign new tasks to the worker and
  • Control over when and how long the work is performed

Dr. Scott Harris – Knowledgeatwork.com

Safety Training: Include Temporary Employees too! 

In most situations temporary employees have not had adequate levels of safety training which makes them more vulnerable towards creating or causing safety-related work accidents. This needs to be changed. Technically, OSHA mandates that employees should receive pertinent safety training before they even come into contact with any workplace hazards. However, when temporary employees arrive on the job they are often immediately put to work before they truly even have both feet firmly on the ground. Instead, it is the responsibility of the employer to first provide proper safety training before even putting the temporary employee to work. The benefit associated with providing a half day of safety training to a temporary employee before he or she even steps foot out on the factory floor, far outweighs the risk of just showing the temporary employee his or her job and just walking away.

It doesn’t matter if your business specializes in healthcare, manufacturing, or even retail, it is essential to provide the proper safety training to all employees, including temporary employees before they even start the job. Set the stage for success by making sure each employee is up-to-date on his or her safety practices despite their technical “full-time” or “temporary” work status.

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