Because temporary workers are new on the job, they are often at the most risk for injury. According to the Canada Safety Council, temporary workers are injured more frequently than permanent workers. And those injuries are typically more serious.
Temporary workers are usually hired by a staffing agency, and their health and safety is protected by the OHSA. So, temporary workers do have the same rights as permanent workers. That means that temporary workers have the right to know about any workplace hazards to which they could be exposed. They can also participate in identifying workplace health and safety concerns and ask a supervisor if they are concerned about their own health and safety. Temporary workers can also refuse to perform unsafe work.
Staffing agencies and client employers must:
- Provide temporary workers with information, instruction and supervision to protect their health and safety
- Tell temporary workers or someone in authority about any hazards they ask them to do, as well as hazards they may be exposed to in the general work environment
- Ensure that equipment, materials and protective devices provided are maintained in good condition
Do you currently employ any temporary workers? If so, what additional steps do you take to ensure their safety on the job?