Texas Mutual Workers' Compensation Insurance Company - Work Safe, Texas

Temporary Worker Safety:
A Shared Responsibility

Creating a safe workplace can be challenging. That’s true even when the job and its hazards don’t change much from day to day. Imagine if your employees worked on a construction site one day and an assembly line the next.

That’s a very real scenario that plays out at staffing agencies every day.

Workers employed through staffing agencies are called temporary or supplied workers. Some show up on a job site with decades of experience. Others are “greenhorns” who don’t understand the hazards of the job or how to protect themselves.

Temporary workers are at double the risk of suffering severe injuries, including crushing incidents, lacerations, punctures and fractures, according to ProPublica. And in 2014, nearly 800 contract workers died on the job, a 47 percent increase since 2011.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognized the trend and launched an initiative to protect temporary workers in 2013. OSHA instructed its inspectors to assess whether employers who use temporary workers are complying with their responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Inspectors are also evaluating whether temporary workers received necessary safety training.

As we approach the holiday season, retail businesses are beefing up their workforces with temporary labor. OSHA encourages staffing agencies and host employers to follow these best practices:

More resources

Did you know it is not okay to ask temporary workers to pay for required personal protective equipment? Click here for a short podcast to learn more.