Many companies, in all types of industries, hire contract workers to save money, resources, and headaches involved with payroll expenses and insurance coverage. Contract, or temporary, workers get to enjoy a constantly changing work environment and learn new skills with each new job. Sounds like a win-win solution, right? Unfortunately, issues arise when employers choose temporary workers over more traditional employees to skimp on their responsibilities for worker safety and compliance policies.
Let’s take a look at what an employer’s roles are when hiring contract workers and how everyone involved can remain safe and compliant.
What’s the Issue with Employers and Contract Workers?
When hiring contract workers, some employers may feel that they aren’t responsible for the well-being of the worker, and are exempt from providing all trainings and protection from injuries and illnesses. However, employers are responsible for contract workers as long as they are working under their authority, and not fulfilling their responsibilities can trigger costly fines from OSHA.
Some of the biggest concerns and hazards OSHA sees as a result of employers hiring contract workers include:
– Employers wanting to avoid meeting compliance obligations and worker protection laws
– Contract workers getting placed in more hazardous jobs
– Contract workers not receiving the proper training that they need
– Contract workers being more vulnerable to safety and health hazards than traditional employees
Responsibility Sharing Between Staffing Agencies and Employers
Both the host employer and the staffing agency are responsible for providing contract workers with a safe workplace that involves specific training, education about hazards, and adequate recordkeeping of any injuries or illnesses.
OSHA has the power to hold temporary employers responsible for not providing the training that the job entails to the contracted employees, or otherwise providing an unsafe work environment. Punishment could entail fines or potential legal action. Staffing agencies must do their part by educating contract workers of the type of environment they will be entering into.
The Roles of the Agency and the Employer
While both the staffing agency and the host employer are responsible for the safety and well-being of the contract worker, they’re responsibilities differ. Employers should provide specific training that is tailored to the workplace and equipment the employee will be working with or around. The agency should provide general safety and health training to prepare workers for protecting their health while at their temporary position.
Before a work contract can begin, employers and staffing agencies must communicate and ensure that the other has fulfilled their duties, and all safety precautions and protections are provided.
Training for Contract Workers
Just like any other type of employee, contract workers need to receive the exact same safety and equipment training under a host employer. This especially pertains to workers who will be operating large machinery, like aerial lifts. AerialliftCertification.com is the number one online provider of aerial lift training and certification that is 100% OSHA-compliant. The course can be accessed from any device with an internet connection and can be completed in less than one afternoon, including the in-person evaluation. It’s the most convenient, fast, and affordable method for training temporary workers and ensuring the workplace is completely up to code with all OSHA regulations.
Learn more about our online aerial lift training, or create an account and get your permanent and temporary workers trained and certified today at AerialliftCertification.com.