The Office of Administrative Law recently approved a new workplace safety and health regulation specific to housekeepers in the hotel and hospitality industry, which will become effective July 1, 2018. Cal/OSHA will enforce the new standard — the first ergonomic standard in the nation written specifically to protect hotel housekeepers from musculoskeletal injuries.
Musculoskeletal injuries are injuries of a muscle, tendon, ligament, bursa, peripheral nerve, joint, bone or spinal disc that can limit or prevent someone from working. According to Cal/OSHA, hotel housekeepers frequently suffer musculoskeletal injuries, lifting mattresses, pulling linens, pushing heavy carts, and slipping, tripping or falling while cleaning bathrooms — at a rate higher than workers in other industries.
“This regulation requires employers [in the hotel and lodging industry] to identify, evaluate and correct housekeeping-related hazards with the involvement of housekeepers and their union representative,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum, in a statement.
Under the new rule, covered employers will be required to have a specific Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Program (MIPP).
The MIPP must include:
- Procedures to identify and evaluate housekeeping hazards through worksite evaluations;
- Procedures to investigate musculoskeletal injuries to housekeepers;
- Methods to correct identified hazards; and
- Training of employees and supervisors on safe practices and controls, and a process for early reporting of injuries to the employer.
When evaluating worksite hazards, investigating injuries and identifying corrective measures, input from the housekeepers and their union representatives is required.
Work on this new regulation began in 2012 after a labor union representing hotel, gaming, food service, airport, textile, manufacturing, distribution and laundry and transportation industries petitioned the Cal/OSHA Standards Board. Comments and hearings occurred over a six-year period. During this time, CalChamber prepared coalition comments outlining general and specific concerns with the regulations, participated in a number of advisory committees, provided oral testimony and otherwise participated in the rulemaking process.
The Cal/OSHA Standards Board adopted the proposed standard on January 18 and submitted it to the Office of Administrative Law where it received final approval. The standard will be added to Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations as section 3345, Hotel Housekeeping Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention.
More information on the standard can also be found on Cal/OSHA’s website.
CalChamber members can read more on Creating a Workplace Safety Plan, including specific regulations you must follow depending on your industry or business. Not a member? Learn more about what HRCalifornia can do for you.