Protection for Temporary Workers

Temporary workers are entitled to the same protections as all other covered workers under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.  OSHA recommends that both the staffing agency and host employer set out their respective responsibilities to ensure that each employer complies with all relevant regulatory requirements.  When a staffing agency provides temporary workers to a host employer they become joint employers.  Cal/OSHA refers this to a dual employment status where the primary employer is the staffing agency and the secondary employer is the host employer.  As joint employers, both the staffing agency and host employer are responsible for providing acceptable personal protective equipment (PPE) and training to the temporary workers.  In most cases, since the host employer is most familiar with the workplace hazards, they take on the responsibility for selecting and providing proper PPE and training to the temporary workers.  This should all be covered in the host employer’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program.  Although the host employer takes on the responsibilities for the temporary worker the staffing agency must become familiar with the hazards at the host employer jobsite and ensure that their employee is properly trained and provided with the appropriate personal protective equipment.

The California Code of Regulation Title 8 Section 14300.31(a) requires employers to include the recordable injuries and illnesses that occur to employees who are not on their payroll if they supervise these employees on a day-to-day basis.  Employers should coordinate with the temporary help service to make sure that each injury and illness is recorded on the OSHA Form 300 (if you provide day-to-day supervision) or on the other employer’s OSHA Form 300 (if that company provides day-to-day supervision).  Ongoing communication is needed after an injury or illness so the recording employer can maintain a record on the outcome of the case.  It is suggested to establish a notification procedure to ensure that when a worker informs one employer of an injury or illness, the other employer is notified as well.

Feel free to contact The Cohen Group with any questions on the reporting or recording of injuries and illnesses.