The number of temporary workers across the United Kingdom between January and March 2014 was 1.6 million, a boost of almost 3 per cent compared to the same three-month period last year, according to the Office of National Statistics. And now that summer is in full bloom, with students taking advantage of seasonal employment, the increase in temporary workers shows no signs of slackening.
If you are hiring temporary workers to satisfy seasonal demands this summer, make sure to provide them with the same level of health and safety protection as your full- or part-time employees.
Because of their transitory status, temporary workers’ health and safety needs are sometimes accidentally left out of business’ general workplace policies and procedures. Do not become lax on health and safety and neglect your responsibility to ensure protection for every employee—no matter how long they will work for your company.
Before you hire temporary workers, accomplish the following:
• Ensure temporary workers are covered by existing risk assessments, and that they know what measures have been taken to protect them. If need be, undertake extra risk assessments to cover temporary workers’ additional risks.
• Establish that temporary workers have received any requisite training and that they understand the instructions necessary for working safely.
• Provide for the language needs of workers who speak limited English or none at all.
• Check that they have the necessary skills and occupational qualifications.
If you are hiring young workers, make sure to account for their lack of experience, lack of maturity and potential ignorance of existing or potential risks. Your business could be a temporary worker’s first job—remember to provide adequate supervision and training to limit his or her risk and the risk to other employees.