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Proper training on temporary employees' wish list this holiday season

The holiday season is right around the corner and as California residents prepare to gather with friends and family to eat, give thanks and be merry; workplaces throughout the state are also preparing for strong end-of-the-year sales. During 2013 alone, more than 786,000 temporary employees were hired in the U.S. during the last quarter of the year to fulfill increased demand in the retail sector alone.

While these employees' positions with a company may be temporary, this fact doesn't diminish the importance of ensuring these employees are properly trained and educated about potential workplace safety hazards. In recent years, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has taken additional measures to help protect the safety and health of temporary employees.

OSHA has pledged to increase oversight of employers who use temporary workers to ensure these men and women are properly trained and informed about potential work-related hazards. 

To prevent temporary workers from suffering unnecessary workplace injuries, employers would be wise to train employees to follow proper safety protocols prior to the start of any actual work. Additionally, it's important that employers emphasize safety over profits and that all employees, including those employed on a temporary basis, know their health and safety is a top priority.

Employers should also ensure that all training sessions and materials are available in languages and formats that are accessible to and easily understood by all temporary workers. It's also important to create an atmosphere that encourages open communication so temporary employees aren’t afraid to ask questions or bring possible safety issues to a manager’s attention. 

Source: Insurance Journal, "’Tis the Season for Workplace Safety," Woody Hill, Nov. 7, 2014

OSHA, "OSHA launches initiative to protect temporary workers," April 29, 2013


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