As we move into the heart of the pavement maintenance season (and as the weather begins to cooperate) more and more contractors will turn to temporary workers to fill laborer slots to get the jobs done and stay on schedule.
But be careful.
As the Institute for WorkComp Professionals points out, those workers must be properly trained or business owners can be cited for violations and liable for a host of OSHA fines. And starting this year (as a result of the death of a temporary worker in a different industry), OSHA is making a special effort through enforcement, outreach and training to assess whether employers are meeting their responsibilities to protect those workers.
According to an OSHA memorandum, "Recent inspections have indicated problems where temporary workers have not been trained and were not protected from serious workplace hazards due to lack of personal protective equipment when working with hazardous chemicals and lack of lockout/tagout protections, among others."
According to the memorandum, OSHA defines "temporary worker" as "those who are working under a host employer/staffing agency employment structure."