Heat Illness Prevention in Indoor Places of Employment
Heat has been on everyone’s mind the last couple months as California has been dealing with a heat wave. Cal OSHA currently as Heat Illness standard for outdoor worker.
(B) Commercial and institutional kitchens;
(C) Commercial and institutional laundries;
(G) Oil and gas extraction;
(H) Steam plants, geothermal plants, steam tunnels, and boiler rooms;
(I) Warehousing and storage.
The employer would be required to assess the temperature using an instrument and the environmental risk factors for heat illness when the temperature increases by 10 degrees Fahrenheit or when a new process is introduced that could increase the risk of heat illness for employees.
Employers would be required to implement control measure where the temperature equals or exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit, where work processes use or generate water and the heat index equals or exceeds 90 degrees Fahrenheit, where employees wear clothing that restricts heat removal and the temperature equals or exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit; or where employees work in high radiant heat work areas and the temperature equals or exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Employers would also be required to create and maintain a Heat Illness Prevention Plan.
This new standard has been a longtime coming for California as their outdoor workplace heat illness has been active since 2006. Employers are recommended to start evaluating their indoor work environment to get ready for the standard and for the heat still ahead.
New standard for the hotel industry
On July 1st, 2018, the new hotel housekeeping musculoskeletal injury prevention standard went into effect in California. The new section 3335 will require employers to address the occupational hazards faced by the housekeepers in the hotel and hospitality industry.
They will have to develop and implement a Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Plan (MIPP) that will evaluate each housekeeper’s task to identify potential hazards possibly resulting in an injury. This plan will include means of controls as well as necessary training to help employees recognize the signs and symptoms of a musculoskeletal injury.
What is a musculoskeletal injury?
It is an injury that affects the body mechanics or musculoskeletal system like muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves… The most common musculoskeletal disorder is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome which affects one of the nerves in the hand and causes numbness and tingling in the hand and arm.
How do you develop a musculoskeletal injury?
It is the result of trauma to an area, strain, repetitive movement, overuse or prolonged immobilization. In the hotel and hospitality industry, repetition and overuse are often the causes of those injuries.
A Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Plan (MIPP) will push employer to address the root cause of most of the housekeepers’ injuries which will reduce the occurrence. This new rule has a financial benefit for employers as they will have less long-term injuries and less turnover related to work related injuries.
If you are looking for assistance to comply with this new standard, please contact us at (888) 608-3010.