OSHA Launches Temp Worker Initiative

Dr. David Michaels announced it during DOL's 2013 Workers' Memorial Day ceremony.

OSHA's chief on April 29 announced an initiative to strengthen protections for temporary employees. The announcement was made during a program at Labor Department headquarters in Washington, D.C., marking Workers' Memorial Day.

OSHA also sent a memorandum to its regional administrators directing field inspectors to assess whether employers who use temp workers are complying with their responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Inspectors will use a newly created code in their information system to denote when temp workers are exposed in violation of regulations and standards, and they'll assess whether temp workers received required training in a language and vocabulary they can understand.

"On Workers' Memorial Day, we mourn the loss of the thousands of workers who die each year on the job from preventable hazards," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. "Many of those killed and injured are temporary workers who often perform the most dangerous jobs, have limited English proficiency, and are not receiving the training and protective measures required. Workers must be safe, whether they've been on the job for one day or for 25 years."

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