The State of Washington has enacted legislation (House Bill 1206) that requires staffing agencies and employers to follow certain communication and safety protocols for temporary workers. House Bill 1206 takes effect on July 25, 2021.
Staffing Agency Requirements:
Under House Bill 1206, staffing agencies are required to follow specific protocols before assigning an employee to a worksite employer, including:
- Inquire about the worksite employer's safety and health practices and hazards at the start of any contract (this inquiry may include visiting the actual worksite). If at any time the staffing agency becomes aware of job hazards that are not mitigated, they must urge the employer to correct them and document these efforts, otherwise they must remove the temporary worker from the worksite;
- Provide training to the employee on general awareness of recognized industry hazards; and
- Provide a description of the training program, including topics covered, to the worksite employer at the start of the contract.
Before a temporary worker employed by the staffing agency engages in work for the employer, the employer must:
- Document and inform the agency about anticipated job hazards;
- Review the safety and health awareness training provided by the agency to determine if it addresses recognized hazards;
- Provide training tailored to the particular hazards at their workplace; and
- Document and maintain records of site-specific training and, within three business days, inform the staffing agency that the training occurred.
The employer must also allow the agency to visit any worksite where the worker performs work, or will be working, to observe and confirm training on the worksite's job tasks, safety and health practices, and hazards.
If the employer changes the job tasks or work location, resulting in the potential for new hazards to exist, the employer must inform the agency and worker of such hazards before the worker undertakes the new tasks. The employer must also update personal protective equipment and training, if necessary.
Right to Refuse:
An agency or worker may refuse a new job task at the worksite when the task has not been reviewed or if the employee has not had appropriate training to do the new task.
An agency or employer may not retaliate against a worker who reports safety concerns.
Washington employers should ensure compliance with all communication and training protocols in House Bill 1206. Please contact your dedicated service professional with any questions.