The Cal/OSHA Standards Board recently approved a standard on “Hotel Housekeeping Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention.” The final regulation is effective July 1, 2018.
Worker representatives claim that hospitality workers are exposed to serious occupational risks in the course of their normal work duties and need additional safekeeping.
Requirements of the New Rule
The new standard applies to “lodging establishments", which is defined as any establishment that contains sleeping room accommodations that are rented or otherwise provided to the public, such as hotels, motels, resorts, and bed and breakfast inns.
Under the new rule, each covered employer is required to establish and maintain a written musculoskeletal injury prevention program (MIPP) that addresses hazards specific to housekeeping. The MIPP may be incorporated into an existing injury and illness prevention program (IIPP) or maintained as a separate program, but either way it must be readily accessible to employees (including electronic access).
Required elements of the MIPP include:
- Worksite Evaluations – Covered establishments must conduct an internal review to identify and evaluate housekeeping hazards and involve housekeepers and their union representative in designing and conducting the worksite evaluation. The initial evaluation must be completed within three months of the effective date of the rule, and be updated annually.
- Specific Risks Identified – The worksite evaluation must identify and address potential risks to housekeepers, including: (1) slips, trips, and falls; (2) prolonged or awkward static postures; (3) extreme reaches and repetitive reaches above shoulder height; (4) lifting or forceful whole body or hand exertions; (5) torso bending, twisting, kneeling, and squatting; (6) pushing and pulling; (7) falling and striking objects; (8) pressure points where a part of the body presses against an object or surface; (9) excessive work-rate; and (10) inadequate recovery time between housekeeping tasks.
- Injury Investigations – Establishments must install proper procedures to ensure they investigate musculoskeletal injuries to housekeepers.
- Corrective Measures – If any hazards are identified in a worksite evaluation or an injury investigation, the lodging establishment must identify methods for correcting the hazards identified and include housekeepers and their union representative in the process.
- Training – Establishments must provide applicable training on the new standard when they first establish their MIPP. Training also needs to be given to all new hires, all housekeepers given new job assignments, and when new equipment or practices are introduced. Once a training is given it must be repeated annually.
- Recordkeeping – Covered establishments must ensure proper record retention for relevant documents associated with the new standards, including the MIPP, worksite evaluations, and training records.
Again, this new regulation takes effect on July 1, 2018, and affected employers have until Oct. 1, 2018, to complete their initial “work site evaluation.”
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