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Six Steps To Protect Contingent Workers - And Your Business
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"Contingent workers" {part-time, temporary, or contract employees) face a high risk of occupational injuries and illness. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health, reasons include the tendency to outsource more hazardous jobs, worker lack of experience and familiarity with operations in a new workplace, inadequate protective equipment, and limited access to such preventive measures as medical screening programs.

Even though the safety of contract workers is the legal responsibility of the contractor, the OSHA General Duty Clause makes you responsible for protecting everyone in your workplace. To meet this obligation, and bolster workplace safety compliance, we'd recommend these guidelines:

  1. Make sure that the contractor agrees to comply with OSHA requirements. If the contractor doesn't follow safety rules, force compliance or stop work for breach of contract.
  2. Set safety compliance ground rules up front.
  3. Share accountability for safety compliance with the contractor. Although you might not be legally responsible for an accident caused by a contract employee, it's still your problem.
  4. Offer assistance. Explain hazardous conditions or processes during project orientation and stress any rules and restrictions, such as hot-work permit requirements, lockout/tagout, and confined spaces situations and needs.
  5. Document communications with contractors. Have them sign an agreement for resolving specific safety problems or for conducting inspections.
  6. Read the OSHA Multi-Employer Citation Policy compliance directive (CPL 02-00-124), which applies to contractors on your work site.

Finally, the fact that most contingent workers will only be in your workplace for a short time adds to the urgency of getting them up to speed on company safety policies ASAP.

For more information on keeping contingent workers safe in your workplace, please feel free to get in touch with us.

Tony  Scurich
Other articles by: Tony Scurich
Categories: Scurich Insurance Services, Insurance Tips, Tony Scurich, Mike Scurich, Tips and Tricks, Risk Management, News
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