Employers Responsible for Ensuring Safety of Seasonal Workers

Every worker has the right to a safe work environment.

November 22, 2019

Itasca, IL - The National Safety Council urges employers hiring seasonal help for the holidays to provide safety training for every worker and to collaborate with staffing partners to ensure roles and responsibilities for the training of temporary workers are clear and are being enacted.

Of the 4,414 workplace fatalities in 2017, 811 – or 18.4% – involved “contracted” employees, of which temporary workers are included, according to the most recent data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And – for the first time since 2012 – the latest BLS data showed no decline in the total number of recordable workplace injuries and illnesses for any workers between 2017 and 2018. Just a single sector – retail – hired 625,600 temporary workers for the holiday season last year, according to BLS data.

Every worker has a right to a safe work environment and to return home safely at the end of each work day. Employers are responsible for ensuring the safety of all of their workers, including temporary workers. This includes having policies and training in place to address the major causes of injuries and fatalities. Leadership should set the tone by engaging all workers in company safety activities and encouraging the reporting of incidents and hazards with no fear of retribution.

This is especially important for young workers who may be entering the workforce for the first time. Prioritizing safety for teens and young adults sets an important example and expectation that they can carry with them to other employers and throughout their careers.

Learn more about workplace incident rate trends at injuryfacts.nsc.org.

About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact.

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With a century-long legacy, the National Safety Council is a global center for safety expertise. Let's work together to align resources. We look forward to learning about ways we can join efforts to expand safety everywhere!

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