Staffing agencies find employment for physicians, nurses, and other types of healthcare professionals. They do this because they are paid by the places looking to hire. Ultimately, the staffing agency’s job is to find the perfect employee for the client. But what is their role when it comes to workplace safety?
The Department of Labor and Staffing Agencies
According to Advance Partners, the Department of Labor is starting to crack down on staffing agencies. The problem is a lack of workplace safety. Why? Temporary work offers are being viewed as dangerous. Temp work is seen as “blue-collar labor,” so what does it have to do with healthcare staffing?
Healthcare staffing agencies hire more than just doctors and nurses. They will also be responsible for finding janitors and other lower-wage workers if the client asks for them. These lower-grade jobs are dangerous due to the physical requirements and possibly what the worker has to interact with (ex: chemicals). If the staffing agency is recruiting for that temp work, they will also feel the heat of that crackdown.
Healthcare Staffing Agencies Need to Make Changes
Suppose the law starts looking at punishing healthcare staffing agencies. In that case, the agencies may see less of that reliable search term, “healthcare staffing agency near me.” In simple terms, fewer healthcare professionals will feel safe applying with a staffing agency. What can be done to fix this problem?
- For starters, any contract may transfer risk or responsibility to the agency. A solution to this could be to include in contracts that the agency is not liable for the employee’s safety, but the workplace is. Agencies need to draw a clear line.
- If healthcare staffing agencies want to be a part of workplace safety, they could maintain a relationship with the employee after they have been hired. This connection could influence the agency’s ability to report anything that may be a red flag. The agency would also be better defended if this happened because they tried to do something about it.
Healthcare Staffing Agencies are Liable for Specific Things
If you work in a healthcare staffing agency, you already know that these agencies are held responsible when:
- An employee makes mistakes
- An employee misrepresents their self or their experience.’
These liabilities should be enough for healthcare staffing agencies to utilize extensive employee screening processes. But how many actually do? Yes, it would cost more money, but the risks would significantly decrease. These screenings should include the following to be successful in reducing problem workers.
- Private interviews with the staffing agents
- Identify verification (License, SSN, Passport)
- References that pass
- Proper testing for skills
- Background checks (Not limited to criminal history but also covering past education and employment)
- Drug screenings
- Safety training
It is a lot. Still, the staffing agency would be able to vouch that they genuinely believed they advocated for an ideal employee. If nothing goes wrong with the candidate, it would be evident that the screening helped the agency do a better job.
Healthcare Staffing Agencies Should Invest More in Safety Measures
Let’s be honest. No one wants to be responsible for anyone’s work-related injury, least of all the staffing agency that found the employee. If staffing agencies conducted thorough worksite inspections before sending the candidate there, work-related accidents could decrease. Any issues found could be corrected before anything hazardous occurs. Everyone would win in this situation.
Healthcare staffing agencies could also provide safety consulting services for those environments that are not making the grade. This service may incentivize workplace locations to increase safety procedures and policies, which could lead to happier job sites.
Look Into the Clients Too
We’ve covered the backgrounds of the employees, but the companies should also be looked at. Agencies can refuse to serve businesses with shady practices, have a history of abusing workers, or have lackluster safety policies. Putting the big guys under the microscope will make the candidates feel cared for and reduce the worker’s odds of being abused or hurt onsite.
These are just a few ways that healthcare staffing agencies can improve their business practices. Too much leniency is given to the big corporations, and the little guys should be advocated for too. However, that doesn’t mean that employees can slack off. Everyone should be held accountable for their actions.