LEGISLATIVE NEWS: Berry Bill to Protect Temporary Workers Passes House

OLYMPIA – Temporary workers are twice as likely to be injured on the job as their permanently employed peers. That disparity is even greater in higher risk industries such as manufacturing and construction. Substitute House Bill 1206 sponsored by Rep. Liz Berry (D-Seattle), Vice Chair of the Labor & Workplace Standards Committee, aims to extend the same safety protections and training offered to permanent workers to temporary workers. The Washington House of Representatives passed SHB 1206 today by a vote of 67-30.

“This commonsense legislation was the result of bipartisan collaboration between the Department of Labor & Industries, labor, business, and temporary staffing agencies,” said Berry. “All Washington workers deserve to be safe at work. This bill will literally save lives and limbs.”

SHB 1206 requires increased communication between staffing agencies and worksite employers that will close safety and training gaps for temporary workers. Staffing agencies will be required to inquire about specific hazards at a given worksite and provide safety training to their temporary workers. Worksites will be required to document and inform staffing agencies of the anticipated job hazards; review the training staffing agencies provide; and provide site specific training for their worksites to temporary employees.

The legislation will now head to the Senate for consideration.