Aimed at preventing and reducing the occurrence of musculoskeletal injuries and mishandling of hazardous chemicals in the hotel workplace, California has amended a safety and prevention law. The new law requires hotels to embed specialized trainings on the correct use of equipment and handling of hazardous chemicals used by housekeeping staff into their workforce training. Importantly, the law stipulates trainings and best practices be established, implemented, and maintained in an effective, written prevention program that clearly outlines hazards specific to housekeeping.
While this is a welcome and beneficial step towards making working conditions for the housekeeping workforce safer at hotels, hoteliers risk incurring costly fines totaling approximately $13,000 per incident if found to be in violation of or without the required safety and injury prevention program in place.
To help the hospitality industry be in compliance with the new requirements and to best meet the need for increased trainings with their housekeeping workforce, hoteliers should consider adopting a digital operations tool to effectively communicate and enforce these new policies.
What You Need to Know About the New Housekeeping Law
The updated housekeeping law went into effect across the state of California as of October 1, but the Golden State will hardly be the only one to enforce the prevention programs in the future. Hotels must have the necessary resources––such as ergonomically-designed equipment and devices, and visible posting of work best practices––as well as sufficient, ongoing administrative oversight to reduce hotel workplace hazards that could result in housekeepers sustaining musculoskeletal injury.
One of the most complex aspects of rolling out this injury prevention program is implementation and training for hotel managers and housekeeping supervisors on how to train and accurately evaluate workplace hazards and work practices. This includes but is not limited to safety hazard correction procedures, guidelines on effective communication with your housekeeping workforce about potential or current hazards, and identifying and replacing any defective equipment or materials.
How Operations Tools Streamline New Injury Prevention Policy Communication
Given the scope of the injury prevention program implementation, hoteliers need to assess whether current hotel operational communication methods are appropriate for navigating and handling such a serious issue. Traditional messaging in the form of printed out notices, or unwieldy handbooks, won’t go distance when it comes to making sure your housekeeping workforce has the tutorials and information they need at their disposal at all times throughout their shift.
With the right hotel technology, such as a digital operational communication platform, hotel managers can deliver the latest safety procedures and hazard reduction best practices instantly. Housekeeping workforces can access crucial safety resources from directly via mobile device, and report unsafe working conditions. A mobile operations tool allows the following essential components of the new housekeeping law to be distributed and accessed in real-time:
- Proper body mechanics, or the correct way to physically perform housekeeping work
- Safety best practices including awareness of already-identified hazards in the hotel workplace (such as cleaning solutions) used for housekeeping tasks
- The process for reporting of symptoms and injuries
Confirmation campaigns can be sent directly to housekeeping staff to confirm receipt of an important safety notice or upcoming training, or to share a PDF of a new safety hazard reduction policy.
Hotel Technology for Safety Document, Trainings, and Videos
In addition to annual safety prevention trainings and those necessary for new hires, the housekeeping law also requires additional training whenever new equipment or work practices are launched. As your hotel identifies and schedules these trainings with their housekeeping workforce, an operational communication platform can serve as a virtual scheduling hub and a centralized online document storage for any diagrams or equipment procedures.
Video tutorials of in-person trainings that demonstrate how to use cleaning materials or operate housekeeping equipment can be shared via communication streams. Comment and tagging capabilities provide an online opportunity for your housekeeping team to ask questions and get fast answers with push notifications. Inline translation ensures every member of your hotel housekeeping team can read and respond in their preferred language.
With the right hotel technology, implementing injury prevention programs for your housekeeping teams doesn’t have to be a daunting prospect.
Do you have an established injury prevention program in place and the right hotel technology to effectively communicate it? Try Beekeeper to see how our operational communication platform can help keep your property in compliance.