OSHA Makes Available Policy Background on Temp Worker Initiative
OSHA has made a point of sharing a memorandum recently issued to its Regional Administrators on Policy Background on the Temporary Worker Initiative intended to remind field staff of its “long standing” general enforcement policy for temporary workers. In general, the memo states that OSHA considers the staffing agency and host employer to be “joint employers” of the worker in this situation, with both having responsibilities for protecting the safety and health of the temporary worker. Determining the responsibilities of host employers and staffing agencies will be highly fact-specific, the memo says. However, the staffing agency has a basic duty to inquire into the conditions at the host worksite and that a staffing agency inspection is not dependent on a staffing agency representative being on-site. OSHA states that, if a staffing agency does not appear to have taken any actions to learn of the conditions at the host’s worksite, then an inspection should be initiated. The memo says that additional enforcement and compliance guidance will be issued in the near future.