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New rules to protect hospitality workers from workplace injuries

In California, there are some jobs that are known to place workers in danger of accidents. Construction and first responders are two that are commonly known. Others carry with them more risk than is generally known to the public at large but can result in an accident on the job. These jobs are essential and the workers are largely unseen. One job that will implement new safety strategies for its workers is hotel housekeepers. These measures are intended to improve safety for these workers.

A vote was held by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration and passed 6-0 to protect these workers from musculoskeletal injuries. Most people in this industry are females, people of color and immigrants. Given the nature of their work, they are susceptible to musculoskeletal injuries and the new rules are designed to help them avoid this fate.

Frequently, these workers are required to lift mattresses that weigh 100 lbs. They must do this dozens of times each workday. In addition, they vacuum mile of carpets and push carts of substantial weight, among other risky parts of the job. They are known to suffer from strains, tears and sprains. In some cases, they can miss work, need physical therapy to overcome their injuries, or face permanent disability. The union representing the hospitality workers first began pushing for changes six years ago. The changes will mandate that hotels determine the dangers and reduce risks for injuries. Part of that is making changes in equipment to make the job safer.

Although these changes are a positive step to protecting hospitality workers, that does not mean that those who were injured should not consider seeking compensation in a legal filing. An accident on the job when working in the hospitality industry can lead to medical expenses, lost time at work, and even damage that can last for an extended period if not for a lifetime. Having legal assistance from an attorney experienced in workplace injuries can help with seeking compensation.

Source:, "Cal/OSHA Approves Hotel Housekeeper Safety Rules," Stefanie Valentic, Jan. 23, 2018

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