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March 16, 2018
Cal/OSHA’s new hotel housekeeping rule effective July 1
By Ana Ellington, Legal Editor

After 6 years of hotel housekeeping advocates pushing for a regulation to protect these workers, Cal/OSHA's controversial new housekeeping rule will become effective July 1, 2018.

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The new rule applies to “lodging establishments,” which are defined as establishments that “contain sleeping room accommodations that are rented or otherwise provided,” including hotels, motels, resorts, and bed-and-breakfast inns.

The Cal/OSHA standard will require employers in lodging establishment workplaces to develop and implement a written musculoskeletal injury prevention program (MIPP). Employers will also be required to conduct a worksite evaluation to assess each housekeeping task, control exposures, and train employees.

The evaluation must identify and address specific risks, including slips, trips, and falls; prolonged or awkward static postures; extreme and repetitive reaches; torso bending and twisting; pushing and pulling; falling and striking objects; and excessive work rate, among others. Employees will be informed when the evaluations are complete—and be in the language they understand.

The MIPP must include procedures for correcting the hazards identified during the evaluation. Housekeeping staff and their union representatives must be included in designing and conducting the evaluations, and identifying and evaluating potential corrective measures.

The written program may be incorporated into an existing injury and illness prevention program (IIPP) or maintained separately. The MIPP must be readily accessible each shift to workers and must be reviewed and updated annually—or as needed.

Employee training
Housekeeping staff and supervisors must be trained on the MIPP when it is first established. Training must be provided to new hires, to housekeeping staff given new job assignments, and when new equipment or work practices are introduced, or when the employers become aware of a new or previously unrecognized hazard in the workplace. Training must be provided at least annually. The training must be provided in a manner the staff understand--including in a different language.

Employers must maintain records of the steps taken to implement their MIPP, including worksite evaluations and corrective measures and housekeeping staff training records.

If you own or manage a lodging establishment, be sure to review the rule so you know what you need to do to be in compliance with the rule’s requirements.

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