Last week, ASA held its annual Staffing Law Conference in Washington DC. There, the heads of the ASA and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) signed an alliance agreement to help provide ASA members and others with information, guidance, and access to training resources that will help them protect the health and safety of temporary workers.
“Through this alliance with ASA, we will increase outreach to staffing firms and host employers and provide information and education that is vital to protecting temporary workers,” said David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
“Worker wellness and safety have long been a top priority of the American Staffing Association and its member companies,” said Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. “We are proud to participate in this voluntary cooperative relationship with OSHA to raise awareness of OSHA’s initiatives, increase training and education, and enhance outreach and communication, especially among staffing clients.”
Specifically, OSHA and ASA intend to work together to:
- Develop information on the recognition and prevention of workplace hazards, and develop ways of communicating such information (e.g., print and electronic media, electronic assistance tools, and the OSHA and ASA websites) to staffing firms, client companies, and temporary workers
- Speak, exhibit, and appear at OSHA and ASA conferences, local meetings, and other events
- Share information among OSHA personnel and industry safety and health professionals regarding temporary worker safety best practices through training programs, workshops, and seminars
OSHA and ASA will develop a work plan focused on protecting the health and safety of temporary workers-particularly by reducing and preventing exposure to safety and health hazards during temporary assignments-and on educating staffing firms, their clients, and temporary workers about the rights of temporary workers and the responsibilities of employers under the Occupational Safety & Health Act.
What does this mean? Basically that ASA is trying to work with OSHA to make their Temporary Worker Safety Initiative as easy to understand and comply with as possible. Government agencies don’t always “speak Staffing,” so it’s good to know our industry has an interpreter in the form of the ASA.
ASA members can refer to market-segment-specific Safety Best Practices (requires a login). More information can be found in OSHA’s Temporary Worker Initiative Bulletin (available to anyone).