NIOSH Offers Best Practices for Protecting Temporary Workers.


In a recent blog post, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health noted that temporary workers provided to a host employer by staffing companies experience higher injury rates than regular employees. To address this issue, NIOSH developed Temporary Workers: Best Practices for Host Employers, along with checklists and other resources for host employers that are available on a CDC webpage.

The best practices are organized in three sections:

  • Evaluation and contracting.
    • With regard to evaluation, NIOSH suggests the host employer conduct a joint risk assessment with the staffing company, provide safety data to the staffing company, allow site visits, and ensure a commitment to safety and health.
    • As to contracting, NIOSH suggests the host employer spell out the following details in the staffing contract: pertinent job details (e.g. tasks and qualifications, hazards and controls, training, personal protective equipment); communication and documentation responsibilities; injury and illness reporting, response, and recordkeeping responsibilities; and other aspects of workplace safety and health (e.g. supervision, peer mentors, workers’ compensation, etc.)
  • Training for temporary workers and their worksite supervisors.
    • For workers, NIOSH suggests training, identical or equivalent to the training provided to the host employer’s own employees and documented, including on the following: approved tasks, hazard identification and control, personal protective equipment, OSHA laws, first aid, emergency procedures, reporting safety and health incidents and concerns, secure sites, and safety and health program participation. Host employers should also assess the workers’ knowledge on the training subjects.
    • For supervisors, NIOSH’s suggested training includes: approved tasks and any changes, mentoring and supervision, OSHA laws, communication and reporting, and joint responsibilities.
  • Injury and illness reporting, response, and recordkeeping.
    • NIOSH suggests that host employers promote injury and illness reporting, inform the staffing company of any incidents, and make the required OSHA reports.
    • If there are temporary worker injuries or illnesses, host employers should conduct joint incident investigations with the staffing company, and coordinate medical treatment and return to work.
    • As for recordkeeping, host employers are required to record incidents on the OSHA log, complete staffing company documentation, and fulfill record requests.

More information may be obtained on from the best practices document and on the government’s website.