Category Archives: PPE

What to do: To help keep Temporary Workers Safe

OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have put new Recommended Practices in place to protect temporary workers in the workplace.

Concern for the well-being of temporary workers has been a concern for OSHA and NIOSH lately. Their newly released Recommended Practices provide ways for staffing agencies and host employers to work together to provide a safe environment for these workers.

The Recommended Practices include:

◾Staffing agencies and host employers must work together to ensure the safety of these workers — both are responsible for these workers’ well-being.

◾Before working with a new host employer, staffing agencies should evaluate work sites, identify safety issues and the types of training temporary workers will need.

◾Agency staff should be trained to recognize safety hazards so they can work with the host employer to ensure that proper measures are taken to prevent an incident.

◾Be sure that staffing agencies and host employers know and understand each others’ safety plans. This way, they can mutually hold one another to the highest standard when it comes to the safety of temporary workers.

◾The host employer and agency should create a contract stating who will be responsible for each aspect of the workers’ safety. This means defining the workers’ job requirements, who will provide the necessary PPE, and agreeing on everyone’s rights and responsibilities.

◾Host employers and agencies should have open communication about any incidents that happen on the job. Both groups should agree on an incident reporting system so that all information is communicated quickly and effectively.

◾Both the staffing agency and host employer are responsible for providing adequate safety training for temporary workers. It is the responsibility of the host employers to train temporary workers as they would any other permanent staff.

OSHA’s focus on protecting temporary workers doesn’t stop at the companies hiring the short-term help. Inspectors are also paying close attention to staffing agencies.

Can PPE Gear create Hazards for women??

YES! PPE, one-size-fits-all won’t work if you’re providing gear for women.

  • Safety goggles are often too large for a woman’s face, and the loose fit can allow debris, fluids or other hazardous material to enter a worker’s eyes causing injury.
  • Modifying a man’s protective clothing to fit a woman such as rolling up the sleeves or pant legs can be dangerous because the excess material can become caught in machinery or cause slips and falls
  • Safety gloves are usually designed for men’s hands so women will try to make them fit with duct tape or stuffing cotton balls in the tips to keep them from falling off. This poor fit increases exponentially the potential for hand injuries.
  • Female workers who are given protective footwear sized for men may experience more trips or slips while walking or climbing ladders.
  • One-size-fits-all fall arrest harnesses should not be worn by women. Size and shape differences can affect the angles that straps fit into the harnesses. Loose fitting harnesses can hinder a worker’s movements and ability to work safely, OSHA says the reason why women encounter difficulty with PPE is the lack of a full range of PPE sizes and types at the retail, wholesale and distributor levels as well as employers’ limited knowledge of PPE designed for women.

Female workers who are concerned about ill-fitting PPE can approach their safety director armed with information that will offer solutions. More manufacturers are finally designing safety equipment to fit women. Studying the differences in body measurements between men and women has allowed manufacturers to offer work gloves to fit smaller hands and design safety goggles with tighter fits to eliminate gaping.