Temporary workers are typically a summer phenomenon when the weather is warm enough to accommodate outdoor work, as in the construction or farming industries. However, the last quarter of the year has its own unique staffing challenges, especially in verticals like retail.
During the holiday season, retailers, their suppliers, and the logistics companies that support them both, often need to hire temporary staff to meet the spike in demand. The challenge for supply chains is to minimize safety incidents and reduce risk with inexperienced workers. Or, if they do have experience, they may not have used those skills since the last season they were hired.
Responsibility for the Safety of Temporary Workers
When companies hire seasonal employees, it’s usually done through a staffing agency. The safety of those temporary workers is the responsibility of both groups. In fact, OSHA recommends that the staffing agency and host employer write each group’s safety responsibilities in their contracts with each other to eliminate confusion and ensure compliance is met by both parties.
OSHA is right to be concerned for the safety of seasonal staff. Here are a handful of increased dangers temporary workers face relative to permanent staff:
Temporary workers get placed in a variety of jobs, including the most hazardous jobs.
Temporary workers are more vulnerable to workplace safety and health hazards and retaliation
Temporary workers are often not given adequate safety and health training or explanations of their duties by either the agency or the host employer.
For these reasons and more, it is critical that both host employers and staffing agencies work together to comply with all relevant OSHA requirements.
Adequately Trained Seasonal Workers Reduces Risk of Disruption
One of the best ways for supply chains to maintain sustainability and reduce risk during the changing seasons is to ensure that every worker on the job site has standard training.
A worker injury or fatality can disrupt the supply chain for prolonged periods. As a general practice, staffing agencies should provide general safety training on broad topics before the seasonal employee begins work. Once on the job, the host employer should provide more in-depth safety training specific to the job site, including unique safety hazards, policies, and procedures.
Ensure Your Seasonal Staff is Properly Trained on Day One with Avetta
How can you be certain that your suppliers are sending you temporary workers with adequate training? You can’t know for sure unless you verify each employee. That can be difficult without the proper tools and processes in place. Fortunately, Avetta’s Worker Management Solution makes the task straightforward. Take advantage of the Learning Management System and enforce knowledge retention before a seasonal worker is allowed on the job site.
To find out how Avetta can make your supply chain safer, visit avetta.com, call 844-633-3801, or email [email protected].