Summer is Coming

No, this is not a reference to a sequel to Game of Thrones.  It is meant as a reminder that Summer is just around the corner (meaning July or later.)  In that regard, we have previously reminded you of how important it is to ensure your staff is wearing proper protective footwear.    Flipflops and sandals may be comfortable in hot weather but can result in serious injury when worn in your dietary or housekeeping departments.

However, as mentioned, our purpose in this article is not to talk about proper footwear.  Instead, what we would like to remind you of is a need to establish, monitor and maintain control over dress requirements in your various departments where you have a duty to ensure your employees are wearing the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to reduce their exposure to injury. 

As an example, long-sleeved, high-necked button up shirts can provide some protection against, hot water or grease spills, that a tank top cannot.  In most cases, you already have the clothing standards in place to protect against these hazards; however, during the summer months employee compliance with these standards can become lax unless there is management focus on maintaining those standards.

L&I requires that each employer make a PPE assessment in order to identify hazards and to determine what PPE might be necessary.  See WAC 296-800-16005.  After making the assessment, you have a duty to provide PPE to your employees at no cost to them unless the PPE is of a type normally worn away from the workplace.  The good news for you is that, for most of your dietary or housekeeping staff, the clothing necessary to protect them is clothing normally worn away from work.  Of course, things would be different if you were arming your crew to battle against the forces of the Night King and the White Walkers. DOSH regulations would likely make you responsible for your employees’ armor costs.   

So, be on the lookout and be prepared.  Summer is coming.