- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has renewed its partnership with the American Staffing Association (ASA) to protect temporary employees from work hazards.
- In the new five-year agreement, the two organizations will educate workers on their rights, train staffing firms and clients on responsible safety practices, and work on new ways to distribute this information to all involved.
- In the past OSHA and ASA have partnered on webinars about obligations of host employers, Ebola-related liability issues and investigating workplace incidents.
ASA represents more than 1,800 members in the national staffing field and according to its most recent statistics, about 37% of the country's temporary employees are working in industrial jobs. As highlighted in the 2015 report "Sustainable and Safe Recycling: Protecting Workers Who Protect the Planet" the use of temporary workers in recycling facilities is common. In some cases the lack of proper training, translation opportunities and safety procedures has been fatal.
OSHA reports receiving multiple notices of temporary workers being injured in the past, often on their first day. As part of its overall push to improve workplace safety OSHA has announced plans to make company injury reports public and raise the cost of safety violations by 78% this year. OSHA recently released its list of the 10 most commonly cited safety violations and said many of them could be easily avoided with the right safety programs in place.
The waste industry's challenges with safety are well known as it continues to have one of the highest fatality rates in the country. Recent data from the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) showed that 38 employees died between July 2015 and June 2016. New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is expected to come out this week which will provide additional insight into this problem.