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Temporary Worker Frequently Asked Questions

Who are temporary workers?

Temporary workers are workers who are assigned to host employers through a staffing firm to perform work for the host employers. They typically perform work for several employers throughout the year, and are often utilized so the host employer does not have to bring on a permanent worker for a seasonal or occasional need.

Who is responsible for temporary worker safety and compliance?

In most cases, staffing agencies and host employers are jointly responsible for maintaining a safe work environment for temporary workers — including, for example, ensuring that OSHA’s training, hazard communication, and recordkeeping requirements are fulfilled. OSHA can hold both employers responsible for violative condition(s).

Who must keep injury and illness records for temporary workers?

The responsibility to record is based upon who supervises the temporary worker’s day-to-day tasks — most often, the host employer.

Who must provide personal protective equipment for temporary workers?

Host employers are generally responsible for providing PPE for site-specific hazards to which temporary employees may be exposed. However, the host may specify the services that it wants the staffing agency to supply, including provision of PPE for the placed employees.

Who must train temporary workers?

In general, it is the responsibility of the staffing agency to ensure that employees have received proper training. In practice, even when the staffing agency has provided basic training, the host employer provides the workplace-specific training appropriate to the employees’ particular tasks. For example, a staffing agency can provide general HazCom training, but only the host employer can train where the SDSs are kept in the facility, the chemicals used, etc.