NIOSH, OSHA announce best practices to protect temporary workers

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the United States have jointly published a document that outlines best practices for temporary workers. These recommendations are specific to employers who use workers from staffing agencies and include practices for providing proper safety and health protections for these workers.
Workers employed through staffing agencies are generally called "temporary" or "supplied" workers and the staffing agency and staffing agency's client, or host employer, are jointly responsible for providing a safe working environment. NIOSH and OSHA provide recommendations that can be applied through effective communication and collaboration between all parties.

"Workers sent by a staffing agency to a work site deserve the same level of protection from workplace hazards as the host employer's workers do," said NIOSH director John Howard. "Recognizing that temporary workers are often new to the workplace to which they are sent, we believe these recommended practices will provide a strong foundation for host employers and staffing agencies to work together to provide a comprehensive program that protects the safety and health of all workers."

In Recommended Practices for Protecting Temporary Workers OSHA and NIOSH recommend that staffing agency and host employer contracts include defining the tasks the worker is expected to perform, and clearly stating which employer is responsible for specific safety and health duties. Best practices also include jointly reviewing all work sites the worker may potentially visit, identifying and eliminating hazards, defining necessary trainings and protections the worker will need, and reviewing both agency and employer injury and illness prevention programs.

The fact sheet acknowledges that tracking information about any injuries that do occur on the job is vital to preventing future injuries from occurring and recommends both parties discuss a procedure to share injury and illness information.

To download the full fact sheet, please visit: