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Staffing agencies, host employers and safety

Many people in Oklahoma work for staffing agencies that facilitate temporary employment gigs for them. A staffing agency may send a temporary worker to a location for one day, several days or several weeks depending on the host employer's needs. While these people are on the job, the staffing agency and the host employer both share a responsibility to protect their health and safety.

In mid-October, the National Safety Council and the American Staffing Association published a fictional case study to help educate staffing agencies and host employers about their safety obligations. The case study looked at a fictional situation where a temporary worker was sent to an indoor work site to use welding equipment that emitted harmful fumes.

Using the fictional case study as an illustration, the organizations explained how staffing agencies and host employers must communicate and coordinate with each other to keep temporary workers safe. Before temporary work begins, the staffing agency and the host employer should both understand which party is responsible for making sure that the work site is free of serious hazards. If a serious workplace accident occurs, the party that learns about it, which will likely be the host employer first must notify the other one. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration must be notified by the supervising party about any workplace accident that results in hospitalization, death or amputation.

Temporary workers who have been seriously injured may not know what their rights are. They may want to meet with an attorney in order to determine to best seek compensation for the losses stemming from the work accident.

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