If you work as a temporary worker, you may feel like you're at the bottom of the totem pole. You may not receive medical insurance or paid time off. However, you are still entitled to fundamental health protections.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recently released a bulletin addressing their Temporary Worker Initiative. The program describes employer and staffing agency responsibilities to temporary workers engaged in jobs with exposure to significant noise or respiratory hazards.
For job industries with considerable respiratory hazards--such as construction--all workers (permanent or temporary) must use respirators on the job. It is the employer's responsibility to assess the workplace conditions and determine which type of respiratory is suitable. The staffing agency is responsible for ensuring that its workers are adequately protected. In addition, the bulletin specifies that it is never the responsibility of the temporary worker to pay for a respiratory device required for the job.
OSHA cited construction and general industry as fields with high exposure to noise. Employers in these areas must take steps to preserve the hearing of their staff. They must evaluate the levels of noise exposure at the job site and issue hearing protection devices to their workers. The staffing agency must advise its temporary workers of the noise hazards on the job site and ensure that such workers receive appropriate protection. The temporary worker is never responsible for providing or paying for any noise protection required for the job.
if you work in an industry that exposes you to high levels of noise or respiratory hazards, you have the right to protect your health. If you believe your employer is not fulfilling its legal responsibilities with respect to your health and safety, it's worth consulting with an experienced workers' compensation attorney about your options.
In addition to the recommendations offered by OSHA, construction work remains dangerous. If an employee is injured at work, Georgia Workers' compensation law requires the employer provide an injured employee with worker's compensation benefits. Please contact us to find out more.