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Advice for managing temporary workers

With more contracted workers taking time off due to the extra precautions and anxiety that the coronavirus (Covid-19) has caused, organisations may need to employ temporary labour to cover production and working capacity.

Temporary workers will need additional training to allow them to familiarise themselves with process and procedure, therefore ensuring their health and safety whilst at work. Getting any temporary workers up to speed quickly comes at a major risk of them not being sufficiently trained. 

Training will be an important factor for organisations when employing temporary labour. Additional training should ensure temporary workers are trained in any specific job/ tasks they have been allocated to complete including specific work equipment if they are required to use any. Having a robust, effective training programme could speed up the onboarding process/es.

Temporary labour may be a first for many organisations following Covid-19, so what is that they should be looking to train them in?


Temporary workers should be trained in:

1) If a worker is not a native speaker, a language test may be conducted to ensure the worker will understand all necessary policies, procedures and any verbal communication whilst working. Should a worker be unable to pass a language test, pictorial drawings or translated information are alternative options.

2) Human Resources policies and procedures

3) Site layout

4) Transport routes

5) Emergency procedures

6) General safety information (Hazards, risks, controls, local legislation, personal protective equipment)

7) New information following Covid-19 (updated policies/ procedures) – this may allow them to feel protected following the pandemic, knowing the organisation have taken extra measures to ensure a safer workplace.

8) Examples of specific tasks;

  • If the worker is using machinery they must be trained on a safe operating procedure/ Safe system of work.
  • If they are completing cleaning tasks using chemicals, training must be conducted so the worker understands the dangers of the substance/s they are working, including safe handling, hygiene and protective equipment.

9) Workplace transport – they should be trained on any workplace transport they are required to use, including transport routes, speed restrictions etc


Any training given to temporary workers should be completed by a competent person from the organisation.

We do have courses in health and safety which include managing the safety and health of your employees, you can view our training providers on our online courses page.