Cal/OSHA Approves Hotel Housekeeping Employee Injury Regulation

Protecting Against Employee Injury

Following years of evaluation, on March 9, 2018, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board approved a standard on “Hotel Housekeeping Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention.” The Office of Administrative Law approved the new regulation that will require hotels and other lodging establishments (i.e. resort, bed and breakfast) to implement new requirements to protect employees who perform housekeeping tasks from any “musculoskeletal injury.”

Background

The mission of the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, better known as Cal/OSHA, is to protect and improve the health and safety of working men and women in California and the safety of passengers riding on elevators, amusement rides, and tramways. Cal/OSHA works to achieve its mission by setting and enforcing standards; providing outreach, education, and assistance; and issuing permits, licenses, and certifications.

To provide proper guidance to California employers, Cal/OSHA included several key definitions in its most recent regulation:

  • Musculoskeletal Injury is defined as “acute injury or cumulative trauma of a muscle, tendon, ligament, bursa, peripheral nerve, joint, bone, spinal disc or blood vessel.”
  • Lodging Establishments is defined as establishments that contain sleeping room accommodations that are rented or otherwise provided to the public, such as hotels, motels, resorts, and bed and breakfast inns.
  • Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Program, or MIPP, is a written program that addresses hazards specific to housekeeping. The standard specifies that the MIPP may be incorporated into an existing injury and illness prevention program (IIPP) or maintained as a separate program, and must be readily accessible each work shift to employees (including electronic access).

Under the new rules California hotel and other lodging establishments industry employers will be required to update their written Injury and Illness Prevention Plan (IIPP) to incorporate the following:

  1. Must have a Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Program (MIPP) in addition to the IIPP. The MIPP may be a standalone policy or incorporated into the IIPP.
  2. The MIPP must be “readily accessible” to employees to review during their work shift. An electronic copy is sufficient if there are “no barriers to employee access” as a result. No such requirement exists for IIPPs.
  3. By October 1, 2018, effected employers must complete an initial worksite evaluation to identify and address potential injury risks to housekeepers. This worksite evaluation as well as subsequent evaluations (at least annually) “shall include an effective means of involving housekeepers and their union representative in designing and conducting the worksite evaluation.”
  4. The MIPP’s procedures for investigating musculoskeletal injuries to a housekeeper must allow for input from the housekeeper’s union representative as to whether any measures, procedures, or tools would have prevented the injury.
  5. Records of worksite evaluations and other records required by the MIPP must be made available to a Cal/OSHA inspector within 72 hours of a request. There is no 72-hour deadline under the IIPP regulation.

Important Takeaways for California Employers
The final regulation becomes effective July 1, 2018. However, California hotel and other lodging establishments industry employers now have until October 1, 2018, to roll-out their Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Programs. These MIPPs must be compliant according to Cal/OSHA inspectors, including the ability to provide records of worksite evaluations and other records required by the MIPP to Cal/OSHA within 72 hours of a request.

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Questions about California Employment Law

At Kingsley & Kingsley, our attorneys work in a variety of practice areas throughout the state of California, with a central focus on helping the injured or mistreated individual who has suffered abuse at the hands of an employer, insurance company, or corporate entity. Our experienced trial lawyers work to level the playing field and fight for the rights of our clients, regardless of the size and power of the opposition. Should you have questions about California’s labor laws, don’t hesitate to contact leading California employment lawyers at Kingsley & Kingsley.

Call and speak to an experienced California lawyer toll-free at (888) 500-8469 or contact us via email here.

Kingsley & Kingsley
16133 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 1200
Encino, California 91436
Phone: 888-500-8469
Local: 818-990-8300 (Los Angeles Co.)

OSHA Delays July 1 Start to Electronic Workplace Injury Recordkeeping Rule

On May 17, the Labor Department announced that employers do not have to file workplace injury and illness information online with OSHA by the July 1 filing deadline.  

The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) last week suspended a recent rule change requiring companies to electronically report their workplace injury and illness records. As we reported (here), on May 11, 2016, OSHA issued a final rule requiring certain employers to submit workplace injury and illness information electronically. The rule, which took effect at the beginning of 2017, had obligated covered employers to send in their summary data electronically no later than July 1. The information being collected was not due to change, just the method of reporting since employers already submit workplace safety information to OSHA. The new rule will make workplace safety data publicly available on OSHA’s website so that interested parties can search and download the data.

Proposed Reporting Requirements

Employers should be reminded that the electronic recordkeeping rule would not have created new obligations in terms of reporting. Those employers covered by the new rule would have been asked to simply use data from their OSHA Forms 300, 300A, and 301 when using the electronic reporting method. The biggest impact, however, would be OSHA having the ability to electronically post workplace injury and illness data on its website from all workplaces with 20 or more employees.  Submission was to be phased in based on employer establishment size and industry.

OSHA workplace injury reporting

Next Steps Uncertain

First, a new deadline has not been announced and OSHA has not offered a formal reason for the postponement. Second, although the filing deadline is just six weeks away, it is telling that the agency had not yet even provided the online portal for employers to begin collecting and submitting required information. Third, now that the new Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta is in position, he must designate a new OSHA Director. Further, the new rules do not come without controversy as employers in high-risk industries oppose making the information publicly available for consumption by unions, plaintiffs’ attorneys, and others. On the flip side, unions and other worker advocacy groups have threatened legal challenges to force OSHA to meet the July 2017 implementation date.

California Employment Law

Kingsley & Kingsley will continue to track OSHA’s Workplace Injury and Illness Reporting Rules as Labor Secretary Acosta implements changes. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact leading California employment lawyers at Kingsley & Kingsley with questions by calling the toll free number (888) 500-8469 or clicking here to contact us regarding your case.

Kingsley & Kingsley

16133 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 1200
Encino, California 91436
Phone: 888-500-8469
Local: 818-990-8300 (Los Angeles Co.)

 

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Encino Employment Lawyers Handling Wage & Unpaid Wage Cases Since 1981

The Encino law firm of Kingsley and Kingsley serves individuals and families in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, and throughout California. Since 1981, we have been dedicated to helping people across California harmed by the negligence or wrongdoing of corporate America. We are committed to protecting your rights in the workplace, including your right to all of your earned wages, overtime compensation, safe working conditions, and Continue reading