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Disasters Happen: Include Temporaries in Your Recovery Plan

What’s going on with Mother Nature?

Over the past few years, Connecticut has had more than its fair share of weather woes. Tropical Storm Irene, Hurricane Sandy and a number of severe winter storms remind us that disaster can (and will) strike – anywhere, anytime.

How prepared is your company?

Responsible organizations enact business continuity and recovery plans as part of their operational strategy, to help them manage a wide range of emergency situations. Unfortunately, however, many continuity/recovery plans fall short in one critical area – addressing the needs of temporary workers.

When you bring on contingent employees, your business shares responsibility for the well-being of those workers at your location. As a result, your emergency plans should include provisions for temporary employees. Use these tips from A.R. Mazzotta to create a more comprehensive disaster recovery plan:

  • Construct a joint safety program. Clearly identify the safety responsibilities of each party when establishing a relationship with your staffing provider. Determine: who will provide general safety training (usually the staffing firm); who will cover safety procedures regarding hazards specific to the work site or process (typically the host employer); and who is responsible for ensuring ongoing compliance for your safety program.
  • Consider how a disaster might impact temporary and contract employees. Assemble a team to answer the following questions: If a disaster happens, will contingent workers’ assignments/projects continue? If so, where will they carry out their work? What other changes or accommodations might be necessary? Think through the permutations and include them as part of your business continuity plan.
  • Invite your staffing provider in for a site walk-through. Ask your representative to tour your location and conduct an inspection, for the purpose of developing a site-specific disaster recovery plan for your contingent workers. During the tour, ask for recommendations on additional safety training that may prepare your contingent team for emergency situations.
  • Create a contingent worker communication plan. If an incident occurs, you must have instant access to accurate information on who is working at your location – and how to get in touch with them. Your staffing representative can help you determine the best way to communicate with temporaries and contract employees in the event of a disaster. Include a contingent worker communications checklist in your business continuity plan.
  • Provide detailed safety information for all contingent workers. Ensure that every contingent employee receives the proper safety training and documentation prior to starting work. In addition to specifying policies and procedures for working near potential safety hazards, your safety manual should also include actions to be taken in emergency or disaster situations. Pertinent information should also be posted wherever contingent workers are likely to see it (consider the cafeteria, break room, or your website portal for contingent workers).

When it comes to ensuring the safety of your temporary and contract workers – even in the case of a disaster – your staffing provider can be a tremendous resource. Contact A.R. Mazzotta today to schedule a facilities tour and discuss how to keep our employees safe at your location.