OSHA and Injuries to Temporary Workers

Photo by the Highways Agency of England, used pursuant to Creative Commons license

Photo by the Highways Agency of England, used pursuant to Creative Commons license

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has begun issuing bulletins concerning temporary workers under its new Temporary Worker Initiative. The first such bulletin addresses Injury and Illness Recordkeeping Requirements.

In the bulletin, OSHA specifically addresses the requirements for reporting injuries and illnesses of temporary workers employed through a staffing agency.

Employers with more than 10 employees, unless they are in a partially exempt industry,  are required to log all work-related injuries and illness in an OSHA 300 log. With respect to temporary workers, the bulletin reminds employers that:

  • The staffing agency and the host employer are jointly responsible for compliance with the law.
  • Injuries and illnesses should only be reported on one employer’s OSHA 300 log, either the host employer or staffing agency.
  • Which log to use depends on which company supervises the worker on a day-to-day basis. Usually this is the host employer, no the staffing agency.
  • Both the staffing company and host employer should be fully in the loop about safety issues and incidents involving temps.
  • Temps should get the same level of safety training as similarly situated permanent employees.
  • Temporary workers need to have a clear mechanism to report work-related injuries and illness.

Employers who are not exempt from OSHA injury logging requirements and who hire temps should take a look at the bulletin.