Changes to Washington State Safety Laws Could Affect Companies Employing Temporary Workers Nationwide
New law applies to employers engaged in construction, contracting, or subcontracting to build highways, utility projects, or facilities that use power-driven machines/equipment
Did you know that a single state’s safety law can be used by federal OSHA to cite you, even if you don’t operate in that state? That’s what makes news like this important.
Worksite employers and staffing agencies that use temporary construction and manufacturing workers are subject to new safety obligations in Washington designed to protect the temporary workers from workplace hazards and injury.
Oftentimes, temp agencies will have minimal comprehensive training, and most of the time the rock bottom cheapest safety gear for these workers. Good contractors can fit them in to their safety program if they are good workers and are going to be on the job a while. However, temporary employees are more likely to be injured and more likely to file lawsuits against their employers or staffing agencies, partly because they are often ineligible for workman’s compensation. And that’s not to mention OSHA, who frequently cites employers for situations that temps create, or are exposed to.
Under Article 5A, OSHA can use a law in place anywhere in the United States to issue a citation, even one operating outside the jurisdiction of that law’s passage. This is a modern industry standard that you should be aware of.
Your safety professional, whether on site on contracted, should be prepared to avoid any citations that may come your way. A knowledge of industry rules across the nation is imperative.
At Preferred Safety, we understand how to keep you safe and compliant. We can design questionnaires, tests, or trainings to save you tens of thousands of dollars in fines–or worse, injuries, lawsuits, and fatalities. Shop our safety products, connect with us, or read the bill in its entirety below.