Over the past years, the use of temporary workers has become prevalent for various reasons, including evading the law. Non-permanent employees are used for cost-cutting purposes since they are not entitled to vacation and sick leave benefits. When there is increased work demand, hiring temporary employees is often the better solution to meet the demands without increasing the costs. Unfortunately, aside from these reasons, these employees are also employed to avoid safety rules for workers.
Employers have responsibilities that require them to provide the required safety and health training to all workers, whether temporary or permanent, pertaining to workplace hazards. To make sure that employers comply with this, inspections will be conducted to make sure that the workers are not exposed to volitile conditions. The US Labor Department has recently released a memorandum regarding this matter after having received a series of reports about temporary workers suffering from fatal injuries. Some of these cases also saw employers failing to provide adequate training to injured workers.
Employers should recognize the importance of providing the same protection to temporary workers. Current studies have shown that in incidents related to workplace injury, most of those who suffer are temporary workers because they are assigned to the least desirable or most dangerous jobs and are not given the proper safety gear as well as the necessary training for their protection.
In the Labor Department’s memorandum, Bacardi Bottling Corp. was cited for 12 safety violations following the death of a temporary worker during his first day of work. The worker died when he was crushed by a palletizer while he was cleaning glass from under the machine. Another employee restarted the machine while the victim was under it. Bacardi was found to have failed in providing its temporary workers with adequate training to operate the palletizer machine. The company was also found to have exposed its workers to safety hazards and failed to implement the necessary safety procedures in its workplace. Two of the 12 cited violations were committed by the company willfully, while nine other violations were considered serious, which means that there was a substantial probability that the company knew that it was putting its employees at risk.
To avoid legal consequences, employers should train not only their permanent employees but more importantly those that are yet to be permanent. The training must be conducted before they start working.
For employees whose employers are committing violations relating to safety rules and regulations in the workplace, complaints can be filed so that the OSHA can conduct inspections. Meanwhile, those who have been injured as a result of fault or negligence of the employer should seek the assistance of an attorney. Kaplan Morrell attorneys have helped injured Colorado workers since 1995. We can help you get what is due to you. Call us today at 303.780.7329 or click here to contact us for your FREE CONSULTATION.