Their tenure with your team is limited, but the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 entitles temporary workers to the same protections as your employees. Included in this coverage is the Hazard Communication Standard, which requires employers to educate and train employees on the risks posed by hazardous chemicals they could be exposed to on the job.

If you think sharing your hazard communication plan with temporary workers is the sole responsibility of the staffing firm, you’re mistaken. As per OSHA, staffing agencies and host employers are equally responsible for making sure temporary workers receive proper information and education on all hazardous chemical risks that could be present at the worksite.

OSHA advises staffing firms and host employers to work together to make sure temporary employees receive appropriate hazard communication training. Here’s a look at some of the duties both you and your recruiter need to uphold, according to the agency.

Host Employer Responsibilities

As the host employer, OSHA highlights the following as some of your obligations:

  • Identify and communicate details about chemical hazards present at your worksite.
  • Make sure chemical containers are properly labeled.
  • Grant access to Safety Data Sheets.
  • Ensure all workers have the correct personal protective equipment.

Do note that all temporary workers must receive equal or identical training provided to your own employees. Even if the staffing agency has a representative onsite at your company, you’re still responsible for arranging training specific to your worksite.

Staffing Agency Responsibilities

According to OSHA, your staffing firm has its own hazard communication duties to uphold, including:

  • Providing general hazard communication information and training.
  • Ensuring workers understand their rights regarding hazardous chemicals present on a worksite.
  • Confirming the host employer has met its training requirements.

Making sure temporary workers are properly informed and educated on all hazard communication information is incredibly important. No one wants to see anyone get hurt on the job — especially a preventable injury — so maintain a close working relationship with your recruiter to ensure you’re on the same page at all times.

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