National Safety Council calls on employers to ensure safety of temporary and contract workers
Employers and staffing agencies should work together to save lives and prevent injuries
Source: National Safety Council press release
The National Safety Council is calling for host employers and staffing agencies to coordinate and share responsibility for assuring the health and safety of temporary and contract workers. State-by state-data show temporary workers can have double the risk of suffering severe injuries at work[i] and often are assigned to higher risk jobs. Increased injuries and deaths among these workers indicates the need for host employers and staffing agencies to clearly define their respective roles so each party fulfills its responsibilities.
“Regardless of who signs their paycheck, the 17 million temporary workers in the U.S. deserve safe job sites," said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of NSC. “We encourage staffing agencies and employers to engage proactively so that all workers go home safely.”
The rate of incidents and deaths among temporary and contract workers has paralleled the rise of the industry, which has added more U.S. jobs in the last three years than any other industry.[ii] Despite the dangerous nature of some of these jobs, some temporary workers may not receive the same degree of training and protection as regular employees.
Aside from working closely with staffing agencies, NSC also recommends employers:
- Establish a policy that states clearly that all workers in all types of employment arrangements have equal rights to a safe and healthy workplace.
- Develop and implement procedures to ensure that all workers, including temporary and contract workers, are provided a safe and healthy workplace, and that there is clarity on supervisory control.
- Establish mandatory requirements for safety training based on the work environment and risks of job assignments to be delivered by the contract worker employer, staffing agency and/or host employer.
- Work with contract worker employers and staffing agencies to identify how to gather and analyze appropriate information about temporary and contract workers to better understand any challenges to assuring their safety and health, and what strategies can be effective in further reducing risk.
- Develop strategies with contract worker employers to assure roles and responsibilities associated with accountability for worker safety are clearly understood and effectively executed.
- Monitor trends in the use of temporary and contract workers in order to address changing needs for maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for all workers.
All employers are encouraged to join the Journey to Safety Excellence, a roadmap to build a workplace that keeps people safe. The Journey to Safety Excellence includes free, practical tools collected from 100 years of experience. Visit nsc.org/journey to join.
About the National Safety Council
Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, the National Safety Council, nsc.org, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact – distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety, prescription drug overdoses and Safe Communities. Safety+Health magazine, the Council’s flagship publication, is a leading source of occupational safety and health information.