Hennepin Technical College (HTC) will be hosting its first Temporary Worker Safety Symposium on Tuesday, September 23rd. The symposium is a joint program of HTC, the Minnesota Recruiting and Staffing Association (MNRSA), and Minnesota OSHA (MNOSHA) to lead the way in addressing workplace safety for temporary employees in Minnesota. It is free and open to the public. Upper management and owners of temporary employee agencies around the state, along with businesses that regularly use temporary employees, have been invited and are expected to attend.

This program is in line with the nationwide initiative by federal OSHA to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities being experienced by temporary employees who, OSHA reports, too often show up at worksites untrained in workplace safety practices and unaware of their right to a safe and healthy workplace. This initiative includes a just-formed alliance between federal OSHA and the American Staffing Association.

The symposium will run from 8am - 11am at the Eden Prairie campuses’ main auditorium, and will feature a keynote address by Roslyn Robertson, Director, Workplace Safety Consultation, MNOSHA, entitled, "Temporary Agency and Host Employer Responsibilities". Ms. Robertson will be followed by Bob B. Alcorn, from Express Employment Professionals, who will talk about what staffing firms can control when it comes to temporary employee safety. Ruthe Batulis, executive director, MNRSA, will provide beginning and closing thoughts.

A panel discussion will round out the symposium. It will feature: Roslyn Robertson; Erik Ajax, President/Co-Owner of E.J. Ajax and Sons, Fridley, MN; Melissa Lilienthal, Sr. EHS Coordinator at Emerson Process Management, Chanhassen, MN; Lynnette Phenix, Director of Human Resources, Sweet Harvest Foods, Cannon Falls, MN, and; Erik Gohl, Coordinator, Industrial Safety Training at HTC.

This event was developed in response to the need for Minnesota temp agencies and employers to gain an understanding of and to comply with current OSHA regulations regarding safety training for temporary workers.

According to David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Secretary (federal) of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, "Host employers need to treat temporary workers as they treat existing employees. Temporary staffing agencies and host employers share control over the employee, and are therefore jointly responsible for temp employee's safety and health. It is essential that both employers comply with all relevant OSHA requirements."

“In today’s hiring climate, employers often utilize temporary workers, to bridge hiring gaps and maintain productivity. Unfortunately, companies may not be easily prepared to supply OSHA standard safety training for these workers”, says Erik Gohl, Industrial Safety Coordinator for Hennepin Technical College. “This event will discuss both staffing agency and individual employer responsibilities and best practices. We hope to not only educate employers but to also offer training solutions.”

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Last updated by jlaabs : 2015-06-02 11:11:06