Cal OSHA Workplace Safety Regulations to Protect Hotel Housekeepers from Injury
- Physical workload and job activities require high intensity body motions that promote back pains and injuries.
- Duties that require forceful movements of the upper limbs; promoting a higher risk for shoulder. and neck injury.
- Dealing with heavy objects.
- Working in congested spaces.
Taking the health of housekeeping workers seriously, Cal/OSHA introduced a series of regulations that encourages employers to follow procedures limiting the number of workplace related injuries amongst housekeeping workers. Click To TweetIt is to be noted that musculoskeletal injuries, which affect the muscles, nerves, and supporting structures of the human body and are caused by workers falling, slipping, and tripping in the workplace, have been on the rise. A report released by Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) research staff in 2016 indicates that the cases of worker injury claims involving musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) amongst hotel housekeepers increased to 4,089 in 2014 from being just a little over 3,000 in 2010. While in 2011, California released the Bill 423 that eliminated unsafe practices performed in the industry, such as tasks involving housekeepers to clean tubs and bathroom floors on their knees; given the lack of the usage of tools such as long-handled cleaning tools. “This bill would require the standards board to adopt a standard, no later than December 1, 2012, relating to housekeeping in transient lodging establishments requiring the use of fitted sheets on beds or the use of an approved alternative to assist in sheet installation, as specified, and the use of long-handled tools for cleaning bathrooms,” the legislature noted. This year, California released a new standard that focuses specifically on protecting workers operating in the hotel and hospitality industry. After six years of staff research, analysis and public participation, the new standard was produced only last month. The new standard is to be enforced by the 1st of July and will be added to the Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations as section 3345, Hotel Housekeeping Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention. The standard takes under consideration the causes of injuries and health issues faced by the industry and requires all employers to develop, carefully implement, maintain, and monitor the effectiveness of a Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Program (MIPP). Keeping in mind that hotel housekeepers are most likely to suffer from musculoskeletal injuries by performing work-related activities such as lifting heavy mattresses, folding bulky sheets, and pushing loaded carts. The MIPP requires employers with in the hospitality and hotel industry to focus on the following areas:
- Develop procedures that identify and evaluate hazards at the worksite; as indicated by housekeepers.
- Develop procedures that look into musculoskeletal injuries faced by housekeepers.
- Implement methods that address the hazards identified.
- Seek help from training such as CAL OSHA Training Course that discusses controls and safe practices for monitoring and reporting injuries during their early stages.