Volunteers and Temps At Risk

Workman falling over a safety barrierEarlier this year, it was an honor to have our parent company, Creative Safety Supply support Habitat for Humanity in their efforts to open a new location in Seminole County, Florida. The floor marking tape Creative Safety Supply provided, enabled the workers at the location to create a safe, organized and pleasant experience for both shoppers and volunteers alike.

With the amount of volunteer organizations and temporary employees  continuing to grow the need for collaborations like this are becoming more important by the day. Anytime you have new or unfamiliar faces in a facility the risk factors increase significantly, causing efficiency to decrease and chances of injury to increase. These are two things any organization can ill-afford to have take place, much less a non-profit. But with companies like Creative Safety Supply, help can be closer than you think.

There are currently 2.7 million temp workers currently employed in the U.S. Overall, almost one-fifth of the total job growth since the recession ended in mid-2009 has been from the temp sector.

Safety First

The first concern for any temporary employee or volunteer is their safety within the facility. Studies show that frequency and severity rates of on-the-job injuries are significantly higher with temporary workers. No matter the employee or volunteer’s experience you can never assume they can come into your facility and be safe without direction.

This is where the simplest, yet still overlooked tools can make a huge difference in the safety of the people and the overall efficiency of the organization. Here are just a few of the tools you can use to improve the safety and efficiency of your event or organization:

Even OSHA has recognized the risks of temp employees. They recently launched an initiative to protect temporary employees from workplace hazards. OSHA had received numerous reports of temporary workers suffering fatal injuries during the first days on the job and is hoping to put a stop to the trend as soon as possible. In most of the cases OSHA found that the employer had failed to provide safety training or inadequately addressed hazards in the workplace.

ProPublica cited similar information stating that temp workers in construction and manufacturing were twice as likely to be injured as regular staff doing the same work.

Reach Out

Many organizations simply don’t know where to start when it comes to designing labels or safety signage. This is another added benefit to teaming up with someone like Creative Safety Supply. Not only to they have a proven track record helping non-profit organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Oregon Food Bank, various schools and festivals, but also with hundreds of organizations, designing safety tools for all.

Having a professional handle your safety needs can help alleviate the stress from your staff, but also ensure that the quality and design will be just what you need to help any temp or volunteer remain safe and informed at all times.

From your most basic ideas to your most complex messages, safety should always be a priority. Whether it’s a enter/exit sign, to directing traffic in a specific direction, to important safety information, to communicating crucial messages to staff, every aspect of your safety process should be taken seriously.

The second most frequently cited violation by OSHA is hazard communication failure (a.k.a. -lack of safety signage). It also their ninth highest penalty offense, which isn’t cheap. Fines for serious offenses can reach up to $7,000 and for repeat violations, up to $70,000.

For example, Bacardi Bottling Corp. was cited by OSHA for 12 alleged safety violations following the death of a 21-year-old temporary worker in August, 2012. The proposed fines totaled $192,000 for the various safety violations (Bacardi is currently challenging the fines).

A worker’s first day at work shouldn’t be his last day on earth. Employers are responsible for ensuring the safe conditions of all their employees, including those who are temporary.

-Dr. David Michaels- Asssistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA

Moving Forward

Don’t wait until it’s to late to ensure the safety of everyone in your organization, whether they’re a temp, volunteer, or a seasoned employee. If you’re an event planner or the head of a major organization, the benefits of visual safety tools are endless.Don’t be another OSHA statistic and take the initiative towards a safer workplace for all today.

Creative Safety Supply would love to hear about an upcoming event you’re planning. If you’re a non-profit organization and would like assistance in planning or need help with materials, reach out today to see what they can do to help.

Additional Resources