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More guidance expected on temporary worker safety, liability

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The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is continuing to enforce joint employer liability for temporary worker safety and plans to issue more guidance for employers, according to an agency official. 

The agency launched the temporary worker initiative in 2013 specifically to protect these employees from workplace hazards. 

“We are continuing this initiative,” Patrick Kapust, OSHA’s deputy director of the Directorate of Enforcement Programs, said at the 2017 National Safety Council Congress & Expo on Monday in Indianapolis. “We are trying to get forth that staffing employers and host employers both have joint responsibility for their workplaces.” 

OSHA has issued seven bulletins providing guidance to employers as part of the temporary worker initiative on injury and illness record-keeping requirements, personal protective equipment, whistleblower protection rights, safety and health training, hazard communication, bloodborne pathogens and powered industrial trucks training. 

“We still have a couple that are in the works and we’re hoping to finalize those, probably by the time we get a new assistant secretary, so be on the lookout,” he said. 

The agency conducted nearly 600 inspections of workplaces with temporary workers in fiscal year 2016 and is continuing to conduct these inspections, Mr. Kapust said. 

Joyce Famakinwa contributed to this report.