As summer unfolds and we emerge from the pandemic, many industries, including hospitality, retail, food service and construction, are ramping up quickly and scrambling to fill their open positions. Many employers are turning to temporary and young workers to help meet the demand and fill the gap. In the rush to expand the workforce, it is easy for employers to overlook the need to help temporary and young workers stay safe while they are learning new jobs. Employers need to be extra vigilant to help temps and young workers avoid accidents and injuries.

Employers Must Protect Temporary Workers

Staffing agencies and host employers are jointly responsible for maintaining a safe work environment for temporary workers – including, for example, ensuring that OSHA’s training, hazard communication and recordkeeping requirements are fulfilled. To ensure there is a clear understanding of each employer’s role in protecting employees, OSHA recommends that the temporary staffing agency and the host employer set out their respective responsibilities for compliance with applicable OSHA standards in their contract to avoid confusion and to ensure that each employer complies with all regulatory requirements.

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Employers Must Keep Young Workers Safe

If you are employing young workers, it is important to remember that this may be their first job or the first time they are operating equipment. Employers need to ensure that young workers receive training to recognize hazards and are competent in safe work practices. Training should be in a language and vocabulary that workers can understand and should include prevention of fires, accidents and violent situations and what to do if injured. Employers must also comply with the relevant federal and state child labor laws, including regulations that prohibit youth from working certain hours and from performing dangerous/hazardous work.

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