How OSHA’s New Reporting Requirements Will Affect Staffing Firms

An OSHA source said that their resources are at a short capacity and as a result, they are spending more time on accident investigation rather than accident prevention. So, what does this mean for your firm and the staffing industry as a whole?

2015 New Reporting Requirements:

Companies must notify OSHA within 24 hours of any amputations, workers hospitalized over night, or loss of an eye.

Previous Reporting Requirements:

Employers only had to report all work-related fatalities and hospitalizations of three or more employees.

Accident Prevention Initiatives Are Diminishing

However, OSHA is not intended to only respond to accidents.

Cincinnati Area OSHA Director, Bill Wilkerson said: “It’s putting a strain on our resources and the ability to do a thorough investigation (when an accident occurs). We’re keeping up with it, but it’s tough.” 

By spending more time responding to accidents, OSHA is spending less time on planned inspections of companies with dangerous track records, education, and checking out employee-reported complaints.

OHSA has relied on companies to abide by safety regulations and accident prevention as incentives for insurance and workers compensation purposes.

Safety Training is Being Reduced

Due to a younger and less experienced workforce, as well as a reduction in safety training, workplace accidents and fatalities are increasing.  

“There may be just too little regard being paid to instructing people on safe work practices, having proper safety programs and procedures in place and making sure that people follow up on these things,” Wilkerson said.

An Ohio union official told the Journal-News companies are driving costs down, and workplace safety goes down with it.

What Can Staffing Companies Do?

One of the first things you can do is request OSHA logs from every client and prospective client as part of your safety due diligence process. In addition to reviewing the log, you should visit a client worksite before ever sending an employee on-site. 

What to look for?

  • Is it clean and orderly? 
  • Is there an emphasis on safety? 
  • Are the workers wearing PPE? 
  • Do they seem happy? 
  • What tasks will your employees perform? 
  • What do other temps at the plant do versus full-time employees? 
  • Do the jobs look dangerous, and if so, how do they ensure workers are safe? 
  • Will temps receive the same safety training as full-time employees?

Make sure that your staffing firm has a safety due diligence process in place, and provide your own safety program which can include: educational programs and training, safety incentive, safety initiatives and programs, safety webinars, and the list goes on.