The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has directed its Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHO) to take additional steps during inspections to determine whether employers are adequately protecting temporary workers. Pursuant to a memo issued to OSHA regional administrators, CSHOs are directed to use a new code to document when temporary workers are exposed to health and safety hazards. For this information collection, OSHA will consider “temporary workers” to include those who “work under a host employer/staffing agency employment structure.”

Inspectors will also assess whether employers have adequately trained temporary workers in a language and vocabulary they can understand. According to the memo, “[r]ecent inspections have indicated problems where temporary workers have not been trained and were not protected from serious workplace hazards due to lack of personal protective equipment when working with hazardous chemicals and lack of lockout/tagout protections, among others.”

If OSHA Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHO) encounter temporary workers during an inspection, they are directed to “document the name of the temporary workers' staffing agency, the agency's location, and the supervising structure under which the temporary workers are reporting (i.e., the extent to which the temporary workers are being supervised on a day-to-day basis either by the host employer or the staffing agency).”

According to information in an agency news release, fatal work injuries involving temporary workers accounted for 542 (12%) of the 4,693 fatal work injuries reported in 2011.