On July 1, 2018, the Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Program (MIPP) will become effective. This is a rule, approved on March 9, that requires establishments in the hospitality industry in California to create a program to address housekeeping hazards and then implement and sustain it. According to the California Workers’ Compensation Information System, the average increase in injury claims by housekeepers is almost 900 every year.
Employers in hotels, guesthouses and other lodging facilities must roll out this program by October 1, 2018. Safety authorities say cleaning tasks have become more challenging with increased numbers of guestroom amenities that must be maintained. More luxurious beds have heavier mattresses to lift, and there are more varieties of surfaces that need cleaning. Furthermore, financial performance expectations require more rooms to be cleaned in less time.
The physically demanding tasks of housekeepers include picking up linen, pushing loaded carts, lifting mattresses and more. These employees frequently have to use a great deal of physical force, work in awkward body postures and perform repetitive motions while working long shifts. Cumulative trauma and acute injuries of muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, joints, blood vessels and spinal discs are par for the course for these workers, often with long-term consequences.
While the new standards might help California housekeepers to lead lives that are healthier, workers who have been exposed to these hazards for years may have already suffered musculoskeletal damage. If so, they are entitled to seek financial relief by filing workers’ compensation benefits claims. Some might find it challenging to prove their conditions to be work-related, but an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can assist throughout the claims process.