OSHA's Michaels: 'Very Concerned' About Temporary Workers' Training

Forestry and building and framing are two industries where the agency believes many temps are employed.

LAS VEGAS -- OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels said his agency is taking concrete action to ensure temporary workers have the necessary and mandatory training required to do their jobs safely, telling attendees at Safety 2013 and reporters in a subsequent news conference that "first day of employment" fatalities among temp workers have alarmed OSHA leaders. "Temporary workers are across the board, and we're not even sure where they are," Michaels said.

He named forestry and building and framing as two industries where use of temporary workers is common, and he said OSHA believes in many cases, the temp agency and the employer that uses the agency to hire temporary workers are both responsible when a temp is hurt or killed on the job.

Michaels also said he expects GHS will be helpful immediately to small businesses and will bring about a desired state of informed substitution of more benign chemicals for hazardous ones.

He also said there will be no more extensions of time for residential construction employers to comply fully with the mandate to use fall protection. OSHA granted about two years of extensions in several steps, but "that's over," Michaels said.

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