Safety Tips: Keeping Temp Workers Safe

You try to encourage a vibrant safety culture. All your full-time employees actively participate and you’re proud of how your team comes together around the topic. But what about temp workers? Do you do as much to involve them?

This has become a crucial question in recent years. With the rise of the gig economy, many companies have come to rely on temp workers to fill out their teams.

U.S. employers currently provide work for around 16 million temporary and contract staffing positions in the U.S. That figure represents an approximately 60% increase compared to just over 10 years ago.

Even as this type of worker becomes central to many operations, temps aren’t always fully integrated into a company’s culture. Training and onboarding procedures are often limited. Meanwhile, these workers lack the long-term experience within a firm to understand all the potential dangers of the particular workplace.

There are steps you can take to minimize this issue. Take these tips to help keep your temporary workers safe on the job:

Offer Comprehensive Safety Training

When a temp first enters your facility, they should receive a full safety briefing. You can limit this to areas of knowledge necessary for the tasks you want them to perform. But you shouldn’t summarize or shorten the necessary presentation.

In other words: treat them like you would an incoming full-time employee when it comes to safety training. Here are a few aspects to include in the process:

  • Test Safety Knowledge: Make sure your temp worker understands what you’ve taught them. Have evaluation processes in place.
  • Keep Comprehensive Documentation: There shouldn’t be any doubt about whether a temp has received the right safety information. Keep records of every training course.
  • Use a “Ladder Approach” to Safety Information: We get it. You want your temp to start productive work as soon as possible. Teach them what they need to know to get started. Then, if you want to move them to a new role later, you can provide further instruction.
  • Provide Frequent Refreshers: Don’t expect training to be a “one and done” situation. Provide regular reminders about safety details. Keep an eye on new temps and constructively correct them as necessary.

Encourage Mentorship

Even after a complete training program, your temps will need guidance. You can’t be expected to hand-hold every incoming worker yourself. Instead, rely on your experienced full-time employees to ensure safety compliance.

Pair each incoming temp with a veteran worker. This will give your new team member an outlet for their questions. Peer guidance is often more effective anyway. This mentoring program will improve compliance and free you up for other tasks.

Make Safety Fool Proof

Safety shouldn’t be a mystery. Done right, the correct procedures should seem obvious. Design your facility with this in mind.

Take steps to “foolproof” your workspaces. Make the right safety steps glaringly clear. Here are a few steps you can take to make this possible:

  • Use Ample Signage
  • Create Lock-In/Lock Out Procedures
  • Provide PPE

Offer Online Resources

New temps can often get shy about asking safety questions. They want to appear competent and independent. Overcome this barrier by giving them the opportunity to learn on their own.

Create online resources to outline your safety policies. This can include a breakdown of key procedures and a FAQ section. With this in place, your workers can find the information they need without your guidance.

Work with Staffing Agencies

Maintaining safety compliance comes down to having the right team in place. This can be tricky when you have a temps cycling in and out of your facility. However, you can overcome this challenge by working with the right staffing agencies.

A top recruiter, like SmartTalent, will provide capable, reliable workers for your business. You’ll get the right temps to maximize output, while still upholding the maximum safety standards.

Contact SmartTalent today to learn more.


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