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A National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health workgroup presented a draft document that addresses temporary worker safety on multiemployer worksites through the use of injury and illness prevention programs (I2P2).
These programs, also known as safety and health management systems, are strongly advised by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and are either required or encouraged for certain employers in 34 states.
The workgroup, made up of management and labor representatives and safety and health experts, suggested merging employers’ and staffing firms’ safety and health management systems into a hybrid that would protect the temporary worker while at a host employer’s worksite.
The workgroup was charged with developing best-practice guidelines that address implementing I2P2 on multiemployer worksites because OSHA’s current guidelines do not include provisions where workers are employed by more than one employer.
“The staffing agency and the host employer should each have a safety and health program that describes respective responsibilities for the safety and health of temporary workers, share their programs, and have a process for coordinating the relevant aspects of their safety and health programs,” the draft document read.
James Johnson, group vice president for workplace safety initiatives at the National Safety Council and speaking for the workgroup, told the committee that a final draft would be available for a vote in December 2015.
The odds of creating a successful shared commitment to safety and health are increased when there is a common language and operating platform between co-employers, Johnson said. “For worker protection, this is typically found in a health and safety management system,” he said, elements of which include management leadership and worker participation, planning, implementation, evaluation, corrective action, and management review.
According to the draft document, the joint safety and health management system should:
The group recommended following American National Standards Institute Z10-2012, an industry consensus standard which defines minimum requirements for an occupational health and safety management system. “One of the features of Z10 that is particularly appealing is the emphasis on worker participation, particularly for those in a nonsupervisory role,” Johnson said. “These workers are often closest to the hazard and have intimate knowledge of workplace risks.” Another key feature is the hierarchy of controls, a cascade of options providing a systematic way to determine the most effective and feasible method to reduce risk, he said.
Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM.
Follow him @SHRMRoy
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