Who is Responsible for Protecting Temporary Workers?

Worker on site

OSHA and NIOSH are aware of numerous preventable deaths and injuries involving temporary workers. For example, a 27-year-old male employed through a staffing agency to work as an equipment cleaner at a food manufacturing plant died while cleaning a piece of machinery. He came into contact with rotating parts and was pulled into the machine. The manufacturing plant’s procedures for cleaning the equipment was deemed unsafe, including the steps in which cleaners worked near the machine while it was energized and moving. While the company’s permanent staff was trained on all procedures to ensure worker safety, this training was not provided to cleaners employed through the staffing agency.

Whether temporary or permanent, all workers have the right to a safe and healthy work environment. Since the staffing agency and the client (the host employer) are joint employers of temporary workers and, therefore, both are responsible for providing and maintaining a safe workplace for those workers. 

The extent of the obligations of each employer will vary depending on workplace conditions and should be described in the agreement or contract between the employers before employment commences.

For recommendations to staffing agencies and host employers from OSHA and NIOSH to better protect temporary workers through mutual collaboration, visit OSHA.gov

If you are a temporary or permanent worker and have been injured on the job, contact us for a free consultation today.

 

Dear friends and clients,

In furtherance of our firms culture of commitment to always act with compassion, concern and commitment to our clients, community and colleagues, we have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligations while prioritizing health, wellness and safety of all we can. 

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced changes to many lives and businesses in our communities, and around the world. We, much like our neighbors and friends, have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligation to our clients, while also prioritizing the health, wellness and safety of our employees.

Until further notice, our offices will be closed to the public to encourage social distancing and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our team is still hard at work, many from home, and you may still call, email, live chat or video conference us if you or a loved one is seeking legal assistance. As the first law firm to offer our clients secure online access to their case file more than a decade ago, we have always been believers in using technology to make life easier and information more accessible. In these present times it has been a smooth transition for us to continue to offer our clients the same seamless and thorough service that you deserve and are accustomed to.

This pandemic is unlike anything any of us have faced in our lifetimes, and while we can continue to emotionally support one another through it all, staying home and keeping your distance is vital to the health and wellness of our communities. It does not feel good to break routines, cancel events and retreat from our normal, day-to-day socializing, but let us remember that, in times of strife, prior generations were asked to go to war and we are simply being asked to stay home. Your isolation equals more lives saved, and more time for medical providers to prepare for the treatment of patients battling COVID-19.

When the dust settles, we will join together with a greater appreciation for our lives, local businesses, loved ones and health. Until then, we will continue to offer guidance from a safe distance.

Very truly yours,

Andrew G. Finkelstein and the staff of Jacoby & Meyers, LLP