A Day’s Work

A Day’s Work

I’ll Do Anything.

I just need a job.

How many of us have said, "I’ll do anything; I just need a job”? I know I have, especially when I was younger. I’ve driven flatbed trucks, worked in a warehouse: packing apples, cleaned apartments, driven forklifts, pretty much anything for a paycheck. Never once did I consider whether I was hired through a temporary staffing agency or not.

I certainly would, now.

I just watched the documentary A Day’s Work about the risk temporary workers put themselves in just because they were hired by a temporary staffing agency. More specifically, it’s about Day Davis and his first and last day as a temp working as a warehouse clerk.

It was his last day working there, and not because he got fired, but because he was killed.

Did you know that temporary workers are at a 50% higher risk of getting injured on the job? The main reason for this is that temp agencies are technically your employer because they sign your paycheck, but you're not working at the temp agency. Like in Day’s case, he was hired by a particular temp staffing service, but was working in the warehouse of a different company, so, technically, the organization that’s owns and operates the warehouse was not responsible for him or his safety.

Does that make sense?

No, I don’t think so and neither does OSHA. OSHA has a “shared responsibility doctrine” and explains on its temporary worker safety page that “…staffing agencies and host employers are jointly responsible for maintaining a safe work environment for temporary workers— including, for example, ensuring that OSHA’s training, hazard communication, and recordkeeping requirements are fulfilled.” Of course OSHA has a strategy to share in executing on joint responsibility. “A key concept is that each employer should consider the hazards it is in a position to prevent and correct, and in a position to comply with OSHA standards. For example, staffing agencies might provide general safety and health training, and host employers provide specific training tailored to the particular workplace equipment/hazards.”

When Day Davis was contacted in the morning by Remedy Intelligent Staffing, they asked him if he could start a job that same day. He said yes. He was asked to arrive at 2:45 pm for onboarding and safety training, his shift started 15 minutes later at 3:00 pm. 15 minutes for onboarding and safety training, that can’t be right? Well, it isn’t, but that’s what happened. Day Davis died 90 minutes into his shift because safety procedures were not followed. He was crushed to death by a palletizer in the warehouse. There was clearly a lack of shared responsibility between the staffing agency and the host employer.

It’s tragic that people (unbeknownst to themselves) are putting themselves at risk just because of the mere fact they’ve decided to work through a temp agency. This is exactly why this documentary was made, and why I’m writing about it. People need to be aware of this and something needs to be done about it.

In Day’s case, the contracting organization paid his mother a settlement of $250,000. The temp staffing agency paid nothing, they weren’t even fined. How is this possible?

The documentary tells Day’s story and has experts who give mind boggling statistics and help explain why, and how this, and too many other tragedies, have happened. Please, watch this documentary, and spread the word. Something needs to change!

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