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House Bill 2862: Enhancing Safety for Temporary Workers in Illinois

Friday, September 8, 2023
Chris Pfeiffer
House Bill 2862: Enhancing Safety for Temporary Workers in Illinois

Illinois has taken a significant step toward bolstering the safety and rights of temporary workers with the enactment of House Bill 2862. This legislation, an amendment to the Illinois Day and Temporary Labor Services Act, aims to ensure that temporary workers are provided with adequate protection against job hazards and receive essential safety training. Let’s delve into the key provisions of this bill:

Ensuring a Safe Working Environment

Before assigning a worker to a client-employer, staffing agencies must perform due diligence to assess the safety conditions, worker tasks, and client-employer safety programs. This includes inquiring about known hazards at the worksite where the temporary worker will be placed. If any hazards are identified, the staffing agency is mandated to inform the client-employer and urge them to take corrective actions, with documentation to support their efforts.

Safety Training: A Vital Component

Prior to placement, staffing agencies are required to provide general awareness safety training to temporary workers, catering to recognized industry hazards. This training must be offered in the worker’s preferred language and at no cost to the worker. The training program should cover all existing job hazards known to either the client-employer or the staffing agency. Some of the key hazard types that must be addressed include personal protective equipment, fall hazards, electrocution hazards, and more.

The training program goes beyond merely identifying hazards; it also includes information about the actions taken by the client-employer to mitigate these hazards. Temporary workers are educated on steps they should take to prevent or manage hazards, including emergency evacuation and shelter-in-place procedures. Importantly, the staffing agency must provide the client-employer with a general description of the training program’s topics at the start of the engagement.

Worker Dispatch and Information Sharing

When dispatching temporary workers to client employers, staffing agencies must provide a statement that includes crucial information:

  1. The name and nature of the work to be performed.
  2. The offered wages.
  3. Details about safety hazards and concerns at the client-employer’s site, along with contact information for the representative to whom workers should report safety issues.
  4. In the case of a strike, lockout, or labor dispute, a written statement in the primary language of the worker explaining their right to refuse the assignment.

Client-Employer Responsibilities

Client-employers also play a pivotal role in ensuring the safety of temporary workers:

  1. They must document and inform the staffing agency about anticipated job hazards likely to be encountered by the temporary worker.
  2. Examine and evaluate the safety and health awareness training offered by the staffing agency to ascertain whether it adequately covers industry-recognized hazards.
  3. Provide training tailored to the particular hazards at the client-employer’s worksite.
  4. Document and maintain records of site-specific training and confirm its completion to the staffing agency within three business days.

Additionally, if a temporary worker’s job tasks or work location change and new hazards emerge, client-employers are obligated to inform both the staffing agency and the worker about these changes. Updated personal protective equipment (PPE) and training must be provided as needed.

Supervision and Observation

Client employers who supervise temporary workers must provide worksite-specific training to these individuals. They must also allow staffing agencies to visit the worksite to observe and confirm the training and information provided related to job tasks, safety and health practices, and hazards.

Documenting Hazard Controls

One of the core requirements under House Bill 2862 is for organizations to document specific hazards and the controls in place. For instance:

  • Example: Powered Industrial Trucks are utilized. All operators are trained in accordance with 1910.178 requirements. Additionally, all foot traffic must stay in designated foot traffic pathways. Right of way is always given to foot traffic. 
  • Example: Chemicals are utilized. All chemical containers are properly labeled and stored in flammable cabinets; safety data sheets are available in the plant manager’s office.
  • Example: Lockout tagout applications are to be conducted by maintenance employees ONLY. Temporary workers will be instructed on how to inspect equipment and inform maintenance when servicing or maintenance is needed. 

Training Curriculum List

If you are the Supervising Employer and the temp agency does not send a supervisor with the staff, a training curriculum should be in place. Key topics to be covered include:

  • Workplace-specific hazards and controls.
  • Proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Emergency evacuation procedures.
  • Reporting safety concerns.

Temp Agency Request

To ensure compliance and alignment with organizational needs, you can request the temporary agency to provide their training curriculum for review. This step allows you to evaluate the topics and content for compliance status and ensure they meet your specific safety requirements.

In conclusion, House Bill 2862 represents a significant step toward enhancing workplace safety for temporary workers. By placing responsibilities on staffing agencies and client-employers and by emphasizing safety training and hazard documentation, this legislation aims to create safer working environments and protect the rights of temporary workers across Illinois.

Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.