Before a problem can be solved, it has to be known. OSHA guidance identifies the failure of businesses to identify hazards as a root cause of injuries on the job. A conventional employer can be proactive about the dangers present in its workplace, routinely inspecting its premises and controlling for variables that increase injury risk. But a temporary staffing firm doesn’t have that luxury. Here are three tips to help staffing firms get started with addressing hazards at client sites.
- Examine client worksites, policies, and practices.
Just because a temporary staffing firm’s employees work at client sites does not mean it can afford to rely on its clients to take full responsibility for safety. The staffing firm needs to take a proactive approach. The first step in any safety program must be to assess existing standards and examine the current policies and procedures in place to address them. Work with clients to conduct a safety review, with an eye toward verifying regulatory compliance. Among other things, the review should verify that the client’s real-world practices align with its policies.
- Develop a safety culture among employees.
Even if a client’s employees are a bit lax about safety issues, the staffing firm’s employees should be trained to recognize and respond to workplace hazards. Employees should be prepared to deal promptly with minor hazards, like spills. And they should know how to identify more serious problems. Part of this process is also encouraging employees to take ownership of safety as a top priority. The client may not always be right in cases where an employee is asked to do something that involves an unmitigated risk. The employee should feel empowered to speak up and, if necessary, stop work until the problem is resolved.
- Learn from incidents.
If an accident happens at a client site, a staffing firm should take the opportunity to examine the event so changes can be made. This is true regardless of whether an employee was injured, or whether the staffing firm’s employee was directly involved. The staffing firm’s employees should be encouraged to report incidents to their managers at the staffing firm, regardless of who was at fault or whether or not someone was hurt. If a hazard exists at a client site, the staffing firm needs to know about it and, if possible, work with the client to resolve it.
Gunnin helps clients in the temporary staffing industry control their risks and get more out of their workers’ compensation programs. Our team has decades of experience addressing the industry’s unique challenges. Call Gunnin today to learn more about how we can help your business keep its team safe and save money.