What risks are associated with labour hire?

15 October 2019

What risks are associated with labour hire?

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Labour hire agencies and group training companies are usually the direct employers of on-hired workers and, accordingly, have the OHS duties of employers under respective Occupational Health and Safety legislation. Even though you will not always have direct control or management of the workplaces involved, your duty of care remains as an employer to your on-hired workers. This means that you have a legal obligation to act to establish that the workplace and its operations are safe before workers are placed with a client. You also need to continue monitoring workers’ safety throughout the term of their placement.

Labour hire agencies and group training companies are usually the direct employers of on-hired workers and, accordingly, have the OHS duties of employers under respective Occupational Health and Safety legislation.

Even though you will not always have direct control or management of the workplaces involved, your duty of care remains as an employer to your on-hired workers.

 

This means that you have a legal obligation to act to establish that the workplace and its operations are safe before workers are placed with a client. You also need to continue monitoring workers’ safety throughout the term of their placement. This can be done by completing the following;

 

  • Provide an induction
  • Work site inspections
  • Audits
  • Management visits
  • Request information e.g. statistical data, investigations, lessons learned

 

It’s important to understand that labour hire agencies and host employers both have responsibilities for the safety of on-hired workers. A labour hire agency can’t ‘pass on’ its legal duty of care, even if the host employer agrees to this. If you are not convinced the host workplace is safe, you should not provide personnel.

 

Effective consultation between labour hire agencies, their workers and their clients are fundamental to securing safe work placements. The labour hire agency has a legal obligation to consult with workers on OHS matters and to support workers’ rights to be represented. This responsibility is ongoing. You should also be assured of the appropriateness of your clients’ OHS consultative arrangements as they relate to your employees.

Gather information

The first step in securing a safe work placement is to gather information about:

  • the client (the prospective host employer) – what do you know about the client’s operation
  • the work – you must obtain details of the job or task to be carried out
  • the worker – only provide qualified and competent personnel
  • the work environment – hazards at the worksite should be identified and control measures in place

For more information about labour hire, contact Veritas RSW.