What are a staffing buyer’s responsibilities when it comes to training temporary employees who will work around running machinery? What are a staffing firm’s responsibilities?

In a bulletin released last month, “The Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout),” the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration spells out those responsibilities.

The latest in a series of bulletins in the agency’s five-year-old “Temporary Worker Initiative” to keep agency temporary workers safe, the newest bulletin focuses on locations with running machinery, where the agency requires “lockout/tagout” procedures to prevent sudden releases of hazardous energy — such as a piece of machinery unexpectedly starting in a situation that can lead to injury or death.

According to the bulletin, both staffing buyer and staffing firm have responsibilities to keep the temporary workers safe.

In most cases, the buyer has the capability and responsibility to develop and implement a site-specific lockout/tagout program. As a result, it is responsible for ensuring temporary workers are properly trained and understand the lockout/tagout policies, according to the bulletin.

However, the staffing firm must also ensure the buyer has a site-specific lockout/tagout program that protects temporary workers, that site-specific training is provided and that it is notified of any changes in workplace hazards. The staffing firm should also communicate with the workers to make sure they understand the lockout/tagout policies and procedures.