The department of environmental and occupational health at the Rutgers School of Public Health has been awarded a one-year, $125,000 grant by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA Grant SH-27674-5). This OSHA Susan Harwood Training Grant will provide workplace hazards training for temporary workers and their employers in New York and New Jersey. Training topics will include employee rights under OSHA, employer responsibilities, hazard communication, emergency action plans, electrical hazards, and vehicular hazards.
Many businesses, especially smaller ones, find it difficult to establish controls to decrease the hazards associated with temporary or contingent employment. The first step to hazard abatement is for stakeholders (employers, managers, and workers) to recognize the unique challenges associated with temporary work. Temporary workers are less familiar with the workplace surroundings; and therefore, are at a greater risk of injuries. The Rutgers training program will facilitate the recognition required to have a holistic perspective and an understanding of what can go wrong, which many employers often ignore during day-to-day operations.
Dr. Koshy Koshy, a faculty within the department of environmental and occupational health, at the Rutgers School of Public Health, is the principal investigator for the project. “Over 17 million workers are employed in a temporary or contingent work environment,” said Dr. Koshy. “Temporary workers have a higher rate of injury than other workers due to the unfamiliar surroundings. Our training program will educate employers of their responsibilities to temporary workers and empower workers, abiding by their rights under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.”