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California Hotel Workers Get New Injury Protections Starting July 2018

Hotel WorkersSummertime brings countless tourists and residents alike to the state of California. Although the year-round sunshine makes California a dream destination, most people find the best time to travel is during the slower, more relaxed summer months. During these peak times, the hospitality industry experiences a noticeable increase in business. Although employees enjoy the temporary rise in pay due to an abundance of time worked, many in the labor-intensive positions like housekeeping or maintenance suffer an increased amount of workplace injuries.

Accident Prone Job Positions

In hotels and other lodging establishments, such as bed and breakfast inns or resorts, maintenance and housekeeping are the two most accident-prone positions employed. Focusing on the cleaning staff, most employees complete between 14 and 16 rooms on average, making over 8,000 moves in a single shift. These figures do not include short-staffed days when the workload rises. Housekeepers make beds, clean rooms, bathrooms, tubs, toilets, remove stains, and vacuum. These repeated stretches, twists, and bends result in numerous musculoskeletal injuries, which are severe and long-lasting. These damages are, “acute injury or cumulative trauma of a muscle, tendon, ligament, bursa, peripheral nerve, joint, bone, spinal disc or blood vessel.”

New Legislation

On March 9, 2018, the California Office of Administrative Law announced new regulations protecting housekeeping staff from musculoskeletal injuries. These new requirements become enforceable as early as July 1, 2018. The hotel and lodging industry must now update their Injury and Illness Prevention Plan (IIPP) to include:

  • A Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Program;
  • An employee-accessible version of the plan;
  • Worksite evaluations identifying potential injury risks;
  • Allowance of union member input throughout the process; and
  • All evaluations and reports must be accessible within 72-hours of a request.
Injury Prevention Tips

A few best practices have proven to prevent injury include:

  • Push, do not pull, housekeeping carts;
  • Do not overstock carts;
  • Utilize lighter and less noisy vacuum cleaners;
  • Vary motion techniques to avoid repetitive motion;
  • Take breaks—even 10-second pauses help;
  • Wear shoes with plenty of cushioning; and
  • Work in neutral positions.
Get Help

Employers owe a duty of care to all of their employees. Without the back-of-the-house operations, no business will succeed, making it essential to keep those employees happy, healthy, and injury-free. If you sustained injuries while working, worker’s compensation often does not always cover all of the accrued medical expenses. A Santa Clara County, CA, hotel injury attorney, can help. The attorneys at Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. have a long-standing record of earning clients the compensation they deserve for injuries like yours. Call us at (408) 289-1417 for a free, no-obligation consultation to find out what we can do to help with your case.

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