By Brent I. Clark and Meagan Newman

In a recent op-ed OSHA’s top administrator, David Michaels, makes clear that OSHA’s temporary worker focus, announced earlier this year, is here to stay.

We blogged earlier this year when the initiative was announced. In the op-ed Michaels draws a direct connection between the length of time on the job and the risk of death doing that job:

“We have known for a century that new workers are at increased risk for occupational injury and fatality, and that higher risk is due to a lack of safety training and experience at that work site.”

Michaels posits that companies hire temporary workers to save costs and skimp on safety training in an effort to reduce expenses:

“Staffing agencies and their client employers who host temporary workers share the legal obligation to provide workplaces free of recognized hazards. This includes providing required safety training in a language and vocabulary workers can understand. Cutting corners on safety can result in both tragedy and stiff federal penalties.”

Employers who utilize temporary employees, and staffing agency employers, should heed Michaels’ warning. OSHA inspectors have been instructed to determine, in every inspection, if every temporary worker on the site has received the safety training and protections required by law for the job. If they have not, OSHA will hold both employers and staffing agencies accountable.