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OSHA Recordkeeping Requirements for Temporary Workers

Volume 13, Issue 6
May 14, 2014

Pursuant to its Temporary Worker Initiative, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued a press release announcing its publication of an educational bulletin focusing on the requirements for recording temporary employees' work-related injuries and illnesses. The bulletin is the first in a series of guidance documents to raise awareness of issues associated with temporary employees and to ensure that temporary employees receive the same training and protection that existing employees receive.

Injury and illness recordkeeping responsibility is based on the day-to-day supervision of the temporary employees. In most cases, the host employer is responsible for recording such workplace injuries and illness. Only one entity should be recording the injury or illness on their OSHA 300 Log; however, both entities must set up a way for employees to report workplace injuries and illnesses and inform employees of how to report workplace injuries and illnesses. Consequently, effective communication between the host employer and staffing agency is critical so that injuries and illnesses may be properly reported and both entities can take necessary steps to protect the temporary employees. As a best practice, OSHA suggests host employers and staffing agencies establish a notification procedure to ensure that when a temporary worker reports a work-related injury or illness to one entity, the other entity is also apprised of the injury or illness.

Recognizing that staffing agencies and host employers are typically jointly responsible for maintaining a safe work environment for temporary employees and that both entities may be held liable for violative conditions, OSHA also suggests both the host employer and staffing agency consider the hazards each is in a position to prevent and correct and their position to comply with OSHA standards. For example, while a staffing agency may be able to provide general safety and health training, the host employer is likely in a better position to provide specific training tailored to the particular workplace equipment and hazards. Thus, staffing agencies and host employers may wish to set forth their respective responsibilities for compliance with applicable OSHA standards in their contracts.

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