Q&A: OSHA 300 for Temporary Workers

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Question:


We conduct hearing tests on employees and record any discovered hearing loss on our OSHA 300 log. Are we required to conduct tests on temporary workers we hire through an agency, and if so, should we report those hearing losses differently?

Answer:


Temporary workers hired and paid by a staffing agency and supplied to a host employer to perform work on a temporary basis are entitled to the same protections under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) as all other covered workers. This means that – to answer the first part of your question – you are required to conduct the same testing on temporary workers as you do with your regular employees.

OSHA will generally consider the staffing agency and host employer to be “joint employers” of the worker in this situation. Joint employment is a legal concept recognizing that, in some situations, the key attributes of the traditional employer-employee relationship are shared by two or more employers in such a manner that they each bear responsibility for compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements. For example, the staffing agency often controls a worker’s paycheck and selects the host employer location where the worker will be sent. The host employer, in turn, assigns the particular work to be done each day and controls operations in the physical workplace.

To answer the second part of your question about OSHA 300 reporting, injuries and illnesses should only be recorded on one employer’s log. Which employer is responsible for injury and illness recordkeeping is determined by supervision. Supervision occurs when “in addition to specifying the output, product, or result to be accomplished by the person’s work, the employer supervises the details, means, methods, and processes by which the work is to be accomplished.” An employer is performing day-to-day supervision when it controls conditions presenting potential hazards and directs the workers’ activities around, and exposure to, those hazards.

In most cases, the host employer provides this day-to-day supervision and is therefore responsible for recording the injuries and illnesses of temporary workers.

OSHA’s Temporary Worker Initiative bulletin addresses how to identify who is responsible for recording work-related injuries and illnesses of temporary workers on the OSHA 300 log.

About the author, Rhamy

Rhamy grew up watching and working with his mother and grandmother in the seniors insurance market. This familiarity with the struggles faced by people trying to navigate the incredibly complicated and heavily regulated healthcare market led him to start Poplar Financial while working on his degree at the University of Memphis. After completing his MBA and Bachelors in Finance and Economics, Rhamy guided Poplar Financial through the disruptive opportunity that is the Affordable Care Act. Since then Poplar Financial has received numerous awards from major insurance carriers, and has completed its fourth year in a row of doubling in size. Now his team focuses on the processes around human resources, and specializes in providing companies with between 20 and 1000 employees with the payroll, benefits, and HR needs.

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