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Workplace safety requirements for staffing agencies and employers

Many people in New Jersey labor as temporary workers who are sent to third-party host employers by staffing agencies. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration assigns responsibility for workplace safety to both staffing agencies and host employers. Both parties have a duty to inform workers of hazards, train them appropriately and keep records. The two parties are guided by the concept that each entity should focus on the hazards of which it has control and can correct.

When staffing agencies prepare to send workers to a job site, they should ask questions about the conditions that employees will encounter with their host employers. Essentially, the staffing agencies need to confirm that they are sending people to workplaces that comply with safety standards.

When a host company and a staffing agency create a contract, they need to address the issue of workplace safety directly. The contract should identify workplace hazards and clearly assign safety responsibilities between the two parties. A thorough contract might protect temporary workers from common abuses, such as using them to circumvent safety regulations. Employers often place temporary workers in the most hazardous jobs and neglect to train them adequately.

When a temporary worker gets injured in an on-the-job accident, the host employer and staffing agency might try to dodge responsibility for the person's injuries. A consultation with an attorney could provide someone with clarity about how to file a workers' compensation claim. A lawyer could identify which insurance policy applies to the accident and strive to complete the necessary paperwork for his or her client. In an effort to obtain adequate benefits, an attorney might connect the person with an independent medical exam and pressure an insurance company to fulfill its obligations. If an employer or insurer continues to resist responsibility, then a lawyer could file a lawsuit.

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