The economy of the world is shrinking, and as a ripple effect, many businesses are now opting to hire temporary workers. Most temporary workers are often hired and paid by the staffing agencies and then supplied to the host employer. According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), the staffing agency and host employer act as joint employers. Now, research has shown that, in the USA, over 2 million workers are injured every year, with the majority of the injured being new workers. In other words, as a temporary company driver, you should always be wary of workplace injuries.
Yes, the staffing agency and the host employer have the responsibility of ensuring your safety as a temporary worker, but you should protect yourself! Let’s look at ways to protect yourself from harm in your workplace as a temporary worker.
Always be vigilant
Workplaces have hazards that can cause harm to you as an employee and they differ depending on your workplace, with some being riskier than others. Examples of risks in the workplace are machinery, chemicals, and staircases, etc. In case you identify a possible hazard, report it to the employer and have it fixed before it causes harm to you or your fellow employee. Most importantly, be watchful to avoid any possible hazards that can injure you, however minor they are.
As a temporary employee, the following instructions can protect you from a workplace injury. If your employer instructs you to carry out a task in a given way, follow the instructions. Do not assume you are an ‘expert’ and you can do it otherwise. Remember, if you deviate from the guidelines, you might be held liable for anything that crops up. So, ensure you follow all safety precautions guidelines in your place of work, particularly the safety rules.
Wear personal protective equipment
Depending on the nature of your work as a driver, the personal protective equipment you will need will vary. The bottom line is do not take chances when it comes to your safety. You ought to ensure you always use the right PPE’s that best minimizes work-related injury. For example, if you are in a noisy place, ear muffs will help protect your ears from harm.
Know the laws that protect you
You should also know the laws that protect you at work. Yes, you do have rights! As per the OSH (Occupational Safety and Health) Act, both the staffing agency and the host employer have a responsibility to protect you as a temporary employee. Just like all the other covered employees in the sector, you are entitled to protection from injuries and compensation in case you are injured. For instance, if you get into a car accident in the line of your duty, you are entitled to compensation, and you can seek help from an accident attorney in such a scenario. It’s always essential to hire an attorney to help you in filing a lawsuit and fight to ensure you are fairly compensated for any damages you incurred.
Ensure you are adequately trained for the job
Do not take a job if not well trained as this could expose you to dangers and especially if risks come up and you can’t react to the situation. Ask the employer to train you if you cannot undertake any task in your line of duty. This is so important in high-risk jobs and workplace environments. Moreover, ensure you are actively involved in safety meetings and drills so that you know how to react in case of an emergency.
The bottom line is as much as your joint employers protect you as a temporary company driver, make it your responsibility to also protect yourself from a workplace injury. Make sure you are always vigilant, work in line with instructions, use the right wearing personal protective equipment, ensure you are well trained for the job, among other safety measures. It’s also good to know the laws that protect you, and in case of work-related injuries, contact a skilled personal injury attorney to help you fight for compensation.