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OSHA specifically addresses safety rights of temp workers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has established rules to protect temporary workers in Illinois and nationwide. Temporary workers sometimes receive incomplete information about job safety because they work for a staffing agency that sends them to perform duties at a host employer. As a result, temporary workers sometimes find themselves in the most hazardous jobs without adequate training. Although employers might expect to dodge safety regulations through the use of temporary workers, the law still requires both staffing agencies and host employers to maintain safe workplaces.

OSHA regulations clearly state that both entities share joint responsibility for worker safety. The contract between the staffing agency and host employer should state which party will conduct safety training, inform workers about hazards and keep records. Regulators have the power to hold both employers accountable for violations.

In general, staffing agencies might manage basic health and safety training. Before sending someone to a work site, an agency must also inquire about safety issues at the location and inform the temporary worker about them. OSHA does not recognize ignorance of problems as an excuse. Host employers should provide guidance about specific issues at the work site, and they should train temporary workers the same way that they instruct permanent employees.

When a temporary or permanent employee experiences an on-the-job injury, the incident needs to be reported to the employer. This step is necessary to apply for workers' compensation benefits. Legal assistance might be necessary when a person does not know who to report an accident to or an employer resists responsibility for the injury. An attorney may inform the worker of available coverage for medical care and lost pay. To pursue a settlement, an attorney might manage communications with an insurance company or file a lawsuit when necessary.

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