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OSHA uses holidays to highlight safety rights of temp workers

The holiday shopping season brings additional business to the retail and warehouse sectors in Georgia. Employers tend to hire temporary workers to manage heavy seasonal workloads, and a news release from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration emphasized that these interim employees have the same rights to a safe workplace as permanent workers.

The statement encouraged employers to make workplace safety a priority for all staff members. Retail establishments should use appropriate methods to manage large crowds attracted by special sales. Effective strategies to prevent accidents include deploying trained security officers and setting up barricades or rope lines to designate areas for pedestrians and shoppers.

Employers can obtain extensive information and guidelines from OSHA that provide safety advice for retail environments, warehouses, crowd management, proper forklift operation and safe truck driving. The agency is tasked with supporting employers' efforts to identify and mitigate workplace hazards. OSHA also has the power to enforce regulations and cite organizations that violate safe practices. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 legally obligates employers to maintain safe workplaces that do not endanger workers' health.

When a person experiences an on-the-job accident, he or she should report the incident and seek treatment for injuries. The accident report enables the filing of a workers' compensation claim and could trigger an accident investigation by either the company or government inspectors. An injured person with concerns about workplace safety could consult an attorney about how to pursue medical benefits after an injury or report a problem to regulators. Legal representation might protect a person from an employer's attempt to discourage the reporting of safety problems or collection of insurance benefits. A lawyer could strive to prepare an accurate insurance filing and connect a person with necessary treatment.

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