Pennsylvania residents who work on a temporary basis may be interested to learn that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is recommending that temporary staffing firms and host employers detail in their contracts their obligations for complying with OSHA standards. The inclusion of the terms in the contract can help prevent confusion about the responsibilities of employers and help guarantee that the employers will be in compliance with any applicable regulatory requirements.

Temporary staffing agencies and host employers have a joint responsibility for making sure that their temporary workers have a safe working environment, even as the degree of responsibility, as determined by the law, of the agencies and employers is dependent on the factors of each case. The host employers and the staffing agencies are also both responsible for making sure that the requirements for recordkeeping, training and hazard communication as dictated by OSHA are fulfilled.

Both the temporary and host employers can be held liable for workplace violations, such as not providing enough training for workplace hazards. Because they both have control over the workers, they are both responsible for the health and safety of the temporary workers.

There are concerns that some employers may try to circumvent their obligations as detailed by worker protection laws by using temporary workers. OSHA also has concerns that temporary workers are assigned to a wide range of positions, including those that are considered the most hazardous, and that they are more vulnerable than workers in conventional employment arrangements to retaliation and workplace health and safety hazards.

An attorney who handles workers’ compensation cases may advise clients who have been injured on the job due to inadequate workplace safety about their right to workers’ compensation. Assistance may be provided for filing initial claims and for appealing denied claims or insufficient settlement amounts.