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Obligations and safety at work: what every temporary worker should know

Obligations and safety at work: what every temporary worker should know

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Why are temporary workers concerned about safety at work?

Temporary work has some specificities. Legally, a temporary worker can only be hired :
- to replace an absent employee ;
- to cope with a temporary increase in activity;
- in the context of seasonal work.

As a result, a temporary worker often changes jobs. And this is a factor in occupational risk and accidents at work.

Some sectors of activity that are heavily involved in temporary work are also more at risk. This is the case, for example, in the construction sector or the industrial sector. This is why it is important to consider the safety at work of the temporary worker.

Safety and obligations of temporary agency work
Safety and obligations of temporary agency work

What are the obligations of employers of temporary workers?

Employers are subject to the same obligations for all their employees, whether or not they are temporary workers. Just because a temporary worker is potentially present in the company for a short time does not mean that his or her safety is any less important. The law is clear on this.

Thus, the company must inform any temporary worker on arrival at his or her post about :
- occupational health and safety risks ;
- the means to remedy them.
- what to do in the event of an accident ;
- safest behaviours in daily work, ergonomics ;
- traffic conditions in the company, particularly in the event of fire.

Additional, more comprehensive training is also compulsory for people in higher risk jobs. How can you find out if your job is affected? By consulting the CHSCT or the occupational health service, which has a list of the posts concerned.

Should the employer of temporary workers apply these obligations even for a very short contract?

Absolutely. Whatever the duration of the contract, you must be kept informed of the risks to which you are exposed. At the very least, this means providing you with documents in digital or paper format.

If this has not been done, the employer is exposed to high risks in the event of an accident at work of the temporary worker in a particularly risky position. The employer in this case is the temporary employment agency, also known as a temporary work agency.

What are the main risks for temporary workers at work?

It depends on the sector of activity. The following are the main special risk jobs frequently filled by temporary workers:
- work on dangerous machines, driving machinery ;
- handling work ;
- work at height ;
- electrical work ;
- forklift drivers ;
- handling of chemicals or exposure to airborne products;
- noisy environment ;
- exposure to vibration.

How to prevent risks for temporary workers at work?

The occupational risk prevention strategy for temporary workers is the same as for those in non-temporary positions. It is based on :
- information and training, both occasional and regular;
- the provision of personal protective equipment by the employer (temporary employment agency) or the user company, if the job requires it;
- regular appointments with occupational health services;
- the authorisation to use the right of warning or withdrawal by the temporary employee;
- regular reviews with managers to assess the risks taken.

Do temporary employment agencies also have obligations?

Absolutely, since it is they who employ the temporary workers. They are, for example, responsible, as we saw earlier, for checking that the user company informs the temporary workers at particular risk about the dangers associated with their job.

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