When people go to a hotel, they expect a certain standard of service, with clean bedrooms and bathrooms, but often do not realize the physical cost this has on hotel housekeepers. Hotel housekeepers have an overwhelmingly high rate of workplace injuries, due to the nature of their job, and there was a lack of framework in place to protect them in California until recently.
Hotel housekeepers push heavy carts, lift mattresses weighing approximately 100 pounds multiple times a day, vacuum across miles of carpet, and scrub glass shower doors routinely. All of this comes at a cost to their health, with the workload leading to a number of musculoskeletal injuries in the forms of sprains, strains and tears. According to Cal/OSHA, these injuries often require physical therapy and can even lead to permanent disability. But, with the new law, California has finally recognized the dangers that plague the industry and has taken steps to protect the workers.
The new standard will require hotels to identify and reduce the risk of injuries for workers by providing tools and training for hotel workers. For example, tools such as devices to help make beds and long handled mops can ease strain on the body. Similarly, training on injury risks and the opportunity to provide solutions for the risks will also be given to hotel housekeepers.
Building a safe working environment is a beneficial step for all the stakeholders-happier healthier employees take less time off and loyally and diligently work for their employers. Workplace injuries not only bring about unwanted medical expenses but can also affect employee morale if the recurring risk is not eliminated.