Initiative seeks to prevent fatalities, injuries among temporary workers
"OSHA has issued citations when the employer failed to provide adequate protections, including safety training."
The agency announced a new initiative to protect temp workers. Regional administrators are being told to direct field inspectors to assess whether employers who use temporary workers are complying with their responsibilities and to use a newly created code in their information system to denote when temp workers are exposed to safety and health violations. They are also to assess whether temp workers have received required training in a language they can understand.
Of the thousands of workers who die or are injured each year on the job, many "are temporary workers who often perform the most dangerous jobs, have limited English proficiency, and are not receiving the training and protective measures required," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. "Workers must be safe, whether they've been on the job for one day or for 25 years."
New government data shows contractors accounted for 542, or 12 percent, of the 4,693 fatal work injuries reported in 2011. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' revised Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries also showed Hispanic/Latino contractors accounted for 28 percent of the fatalities among contractors, "well above their 16 percent share of the overall fatal work injury total for the year," OSHA said.
Texas, Florida, and California reported the highest number of fatalities among contractors. The BLS report also said nearly one in four of the fatalities involving contractors occurred when a government entity had contracted the decedent, including 50 in state government, 47 in local government, and 11 in federal government.
Falls to a lower level accounted for the highest number of fatalities involving contractors at 31 percent. There were also 72 pedestrian vehicular incidents reported, including 44 where contractors were struck by a vehicle in a work zone.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
June 24, 2013
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