Eighteen months after OSHA announced the Temporary Worker Initiative (TWI), the inspection numbers show that OSHA has been aggressively investigating temporary worker staffing agencies for compliance with OSHA requirements and citing those agencies when violations are found.
The goal of the TWI is to help prevent work-related injuries and illnesses among temporary workers. OSHA has emphasized that temporary workers are conferred the same protections as other employees covered under the OSH Act and they should receive the same safety and hazard recognition training that employees receive. Both the temporary worker staffing agency and the host employer share responsibility for ensuring that temporary workers are safe. As a result of the TWI, BLS reported that inspections involving temporary worker service agencies increased 322% for fiscal year 2014. This year OSHA has conducted 283 worksite inspections employing temporary workers. For comparison, there were 67 inspections in 2013 and only 29 inspections in 2012.
However, violations were found on only 15% of the site visits and a total of 83 citations have been issued to temporary worker staffing agencies. The most common citations include hazard communication (29 C.F.R. § 1910.1200), occupational noise exposure (29 C.F.R. § 1910.95) and general requirements for personal protective equipment (29 C.F.R. § 1910.132). It is interesting to note that while federal OSHA inspections increased dramatically, inspections by state-plan OSHA has remained relatively unchanged over the last three years with 242 inspections being conducted this year.
To read more on this topic, OSHA’s webpage on Protecting Temporary Workers can be found at: