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OSHA Looking Out for Temporary Workers’ Safety

The summer months often spur an influx in the hiring of temporary workers throughout the region. Unfortunately, some employers do not have programs in place to ensure proper training and compliance with safety standards for employees who are not on the path to permanent employment. Seeking to remedy this scenario, on April 29, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) released a memo detailing their new initiative to protect temporary employees from workplace hazards.

The memo, written by enforcement director Thomas Galassi, says OSHA has received “a series of reports of temporary workers suffering fatal injuries during the first days on a job. In some cases, the employer failed to provide safety training, or if some instruction was given, it inadequately addressed the hazard, and this failure contributed to their death.”

OSHA field inspectors will be using a newly created code in their information system to denote when temporary workers are exposed to safety and health violations. Further, the inspectors will be assessing whether the workers received required training in a language and vocabulary understandable to them. Recently, OSHA teamed with the American Staffing Association and employers that use staffing agencies to promote the use of best practices in relation to the safety of temporary workers.

In Kentucky, employers in the equine and agricultural industry rely heavily on temporary workers to carry out their business.  The new focus on these employees should cause employers to pay special attention to their training practices and compliance with workplace safety standards. If you are an employer and would like more information on OSHA regulations and compliance, contact the labor and employment attorneys at McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie & Kirkland, PLLC.

B. Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

Brandon K. Johnson is an Associate in the Louisville, KY office of McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie & Kirkland, PLLC. Mr. Johnson practices primarily in the areas of insurance defense, employment law, and general litigation. He can be reached at bjohnson@mmlk.com or at (502) 327-5400.

This article is intended as a summary of state and federal law and does not constitute legal advice.

 

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