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OSHA on how to protect temporary workers

To protect temporary workers from exploitation and unsafe job sites in Texas, OSHA requires certain requirements to be met. The responsibility of meeting these requirements falls with both the staffing agencies and host employers. First, both sides should know that they have a joint liability to temp workers and that this should be laid out clearly in their contract.

The main responsibility is to ensure a work environment that is safe and OSHA-compliant, especially in regard to hazard training and communication as well as recordkeeping whenever incidents arise. Staffing agencies must provide health and safety training, general though it may be, while host employers must be more specific so that temp workers are trained for that particular workplace.

Neither side can be excused for being ignorant of hazards. On the contrary, staffing agencies have a duty to inquire about the conditions of those places where their workers are assigned. While agency representatives are not required to be experts on specific hazards, they must know what can constitute a hazard and how it can be best avoided or mitigated. Staffing agencies must also verify that host employers are fulfilling their responsibilities.

Host employers must treat temp workers just like other workers in regard to training and protection. This is important because OSHA has expressed concern over employers taking advantage of temp workers and, for example, having them do the most dangerous work.

When an employee is hurt on the job, they can file an injury claim or file for workers' compensation benefits. The latter option is better if there was no breach of workplace safety standards and no one's negligence was to blame for the accident; however, a victim will still want a lawyer. Workers' compensation claims can be denied, but a lawyer can assist with the appeal. Third-party medical experts could show that the reported injuries are all accident-related.

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