Guide

Agency workers' health and safety

Health and safety risk assessment for agency workers

By law, businesses must ensure that they assess health and safety risks.

Businesses using agency workers

If agency workers are on your site (either under your direct employ or through another company), your assessment needs to take them into account. You should consider the special problems they may face. For example, they will know less about your business than ordinary employees, and so could be at greater risk.

Your health and safety risk assessment must take into account any special cases such as pregnant women, people who work alone or people who may not speak English as a first language. 

You must also give the agency and agency workers information about risks and measures taken to control them before the start of the placement. See agency workers and health and safety information and training.

Employment agencies

If you provide agency workers to other businesses, you also have responsibilities. You should ensure the user business has carried out an assessment and given you the findings, which you should pass on to agency workers.

You may also need to assess the risks facing workers before you place workers with that business. If the user business doesn't provide the information you need, you might decide to make a site visit to complete your own risk assessment.

This is more likely if you are providing workers for higher-risk industries such as construction, or where the risks are complex. If you are not competent to do the assessment yourself, you must arrange for someone else to do it for you.

You should also monitor user businesses' overall health and safety performance. For example, you could ask for copies of all accident and illness reports involving your agency workers, including the causes and what preventative measures they have implemented.