Most of us have learned to put duty first; yet people managers must rise above such concerns and put workplace safety above jobs, tasks and service expectations. However, is everyone at work found equal in the eyes of the safety culture at a workplace? Or are full-time employees in an organization considered “more equal” than the temporary, contract or part-time workers? Take note because the writing is on the wall! As per law, exposing workers to crystalline silica and endangering their safety from other workplace hazards should be avoided whether they are temporary or permanent! If a staffing client fails to stay compliant, the staffing supplier who deployed the workers will face equal liability for such failure.
For the purpose of this post, I’ll discuss how a staffing company can take the necessary steps to evaluate a client’s safety management plan to ensure contingent worker safety when they’re deployed to work for a term with that organization.
Staffing agencies hold joint responsibility (and liability) for providing needed training, ensuring that the worker has all needed safety equipment, explaining job duties to the worker, making workers aware of the workplace hazards specific to the worksite and steps to be taken to avoid accidents or incidents as well as maintaining accurate records of all incidents or accidents. Neither can plead ignorance as an excuse for lack of safety. Hence there is a need to assess the kind of hazards that may be encountered at the client’s worksite, with the need to ensure the protection of every worker.
There are a number of best practices that can be followed by a staffing supplier to ensure the contingent worker’s safety before deploying them to work with a client.
It’s an accepted fact that contingent workers are a vulnerable set of individuals whose training and safety orientation may be neglected due to a focus on saving time or costs or perhaps false expectations that they “know what they’re doing”. Insisting on safe workplaces is an important aspect of ensuring contingent worker safety and protecting all the stakeholders from liability for non-compliance with their duty towards contingent worker safety.
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