OSHA Highlights Settlement Terms as Best Practices for Co-Employers

By Roy Maurer Jul 13, 2015
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Settlement terms including comprehensive safety and health training, periodic onsite audits and clear contractual responsibilities between host employers and staffing providers are being held up as an example for all firms that provide temporary workers.

Marathon Staffing Services Inc., based outside Boston, agreed to enhanced workplace safety and health protections for the workers it places in a settlement agreement with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA cited Marathon with a serious violation in December 2014 for not providing hearing tests for its employees who are exposed to high noise levels while working on assignment.

Under the terms of the agreement, Marathon agreed to provide comprehensive safety and health training for its account executives and sales representatives. The company will develop, with each of its clients, written contracts specifying their respective responsibilities to develop safety and health programs applicable to each workplace. The company will also have a qualified safety and health professional review and update a checklist to address foreseeable safety and health concerns at client workplaces. The list will be used to conduct initial and periodic safety and health inspections or audits at client worksites to ensure that working conditions meet OSHA standards.

“This is an example of what suppliers of temporary employees should be doing,” said Kim Stille, OSHA’s regional administrator for New England. “Both host employers and staffing agencies have critical roles in complying with workplace health and safety requirements. They share responsibility for ensuring worker safety and health. Each employer should consider hazards it can prevent and correct.”

In 2013, OSHA initiated an effort that includes outreach, training and enforcement to improve workplace safety and health for temporary workers. OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health issued several recommended practices publications that focus on ensuring that temporary workers receive the same training and protection that permanent employees receive.

Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM.

Follow him @SHRMRoy

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