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Opinion: Safety Training Is Key to Health of All Workers (Houston Chronicle) (10/25/13) David Michaels

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has received a large number of reports of workers killed in their first few days of work in recent years. Most of these workers have been temporary workers; this is due to a lack of safety training and experience at their work site. According to the American Staffing Association, almost three million temporary workers are in the U.S. work force, and many perform hazardous construction and manufacturing work. As these workers can be hired for a few days, weeks, or months, employers often do not offer them safety training that they would offer to permanent employees, in order to save money.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, staffing firms and their client employers share the responsibility of providing a workplace free of recognized hazards, including by providing safety training in a language that workers can understand. OSHA has begun an initiative to protect temporary workers, and will determine on every inspection if each temporary worker has been adequately trained. Further, they will explain to staffing firms their responsibility to insist their workers not be put at risk of injury or death while working.