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How does California law keep hotel housekeepers safe?

Housekeeping staff working in California hotels face numerous risks every day on the job. To prevent these workers from enduring undue risks and unnecessary injuries, the state of California has created the Hotel Housekeeping Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Program (MIPP).

The MIPP helps to keep hotel workers safe by requiring hotels to develop a system for safeguarding the health and well-being of its cleaning staff.More about MIPP requirements

Under the MIPP, hotels must complete the following four tasks:

1) Create a list of individuals in charge of administering the MIPP: Hotels must designate a specific individual or individuals on staff who will implement the MIPP. Hotels must identify the names and titles of these individuals.

2) Create a system to ensure safety compliance: Hotels must create a system that will ensure that housekeepers and their supervisors follow the MIPP guidelines, comply with the hotel's safe workplace practices and to ensure that housekeepers are using the most appropriate tools and equipment for their tasks. This system should also have a way of recognizing those who follow the hotel's safety compliance system.

3) Create a functioning communication system: Hotels need to establish a way for communicating safety practices and procedures relating to work safety and health to housekeepers so that all housekeepers can understand the communications. This communication system should allow employees a method for reporting workplace hazards, problematic symptoms and injuries to employers without the fear of retaliation.

4) Create a system to identify and evaluate housekeeping hazards that involves a continuous evaluation of the work site through:

  • The completion of a thorough work site evaluation within the first three months of the activation of the MIPP following the opening of a new hotel.
  • The involvement of housekeepers and their union representatives in carrying out workplace safety evaluations.
  • The notification of housekeepers regarding the results of the workplace evaluations by posting the information in an easily visible location. The results also need to be in a language or languages that the cleaning staff can understand.
  • The regular reviewing and updating of the workplace evaluation as specific facts and circumstances pertaining to the hotel location and working environment change. The evaluation should also be changed when the employer is made aware of new circumstances, and at the very least, annually.

Are you working as a cleaner in an unsafe hotel?

Unsafe working environments are common in California hotels, unfortunately, but workers who are forced to endure such conditions can make their voices heard. Also, if you suffer a serious injury while performing your job duties -- regardless whose fault it was -- the costs related to your medical care will usually be covered by the California state workers' compensation system.

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