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Protecting the Rights of Injured Workers

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Workers’ rights and the safety of temporary employees

Questions are often asked about the responsibility of primary employers such as staffing agencies and host employers for the safety of temporary workers in Colorado. Employees and even employers may be unsure about this, but the answer is that these workers’ rights to protection are the same as the rights of full-time workers. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, it is the joint responsibility of primary and host employers.

The primary employer, which is the staffing agency, must be in constant communication with the host company, although the primary employer must determine the presence of any hazards at the host company. It is their responsibility to make sure they send workers to safe environments, and also to inform employees of any potential risks or dangers involved in the assignment. Workers then have the right to refuse that job and seek reassignment from the primary employer.

OSHA says claimed ignorance of dangerous situations is not a valid excuse, and primary employers must determine existing conditions at workplaces before assigning an employee. The agency must also communicate with the host employer and verify that all responsibilities to provide a safe environment have been fulfilled. The primary employer may inspect the workplaces of host employers at any time.

Temporary workers in Colorado who have suffered on-the-job injuries may find that their workers’ rights are denied when they seek financial assistance. Help is available from an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can explain their rights to compensation for medical expenses and lost wages. A lawyer can assist with the navigation of the complicated legal and administrative steps that form part of the benefits claims process.

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