Representatives of the American Staffing Association and its employee safety committee met with Assistant Secretary of Labor David Michaels and other representatives from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration last week. It was part of an ongoing dialogue and effort to enhance temporary workers’ safety and well-being.
The American Staffing Association has been working with OSHA to find ways to keep temporary and contract workers safe. This meeting and a previous meeting (held July 26) were requested by ASA to allow staffing firms to have input into the agency’s temporary worker safety initiative. Pursuant to that initiative, announced April 29, OSHA sent a memorandum to the agency’s regional administrators directing field inspectors to assess whether staffing firm clients are complying with their responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
Among other things, inspectors must assess whether temporary workers have received required safety training in a language and vocabulary they understand. During last week’s meeting, OSHA representatives stated that OSHA is working toward publishing staffing industry workplace safety directives, advisories, and best practices. The expected audience for the advisories and best practices will be staffing firms and their clients. The directives will be targeted to OSHA’s field staff. OSHA anticipates the first advisory to clarify the OSHA 300 Log record-keeping obligations of staffing firms and clients, respectively. This advisory is currently in the final stages of review by OSHA.
The next advisory will address OSHA requirements for hazard communication and personal protective equipment. OSHA intends to discuss the advisories with ASA before publishing them. ASA member companies represented at the meeting included Aerotek, Allegiance Staffing, American Resource Staffing, Elwood Staffing, EmployBridge, The Reserves Network, Staffmark, Tradesmen International, True Blue, Volt Workforce Solutions, World Wide Specialty Programs, and Yoh.