House budget endorses study of janitorial workloads and safety

The House budget that was voted out on Monday includes a study to address high injury rates of the janitorial workforce. The proposed study will look at physical demands of common janitorial work tasks and assess the safety and health needs of janitorial workers.

The research must also identify potential risk factors associated with increased risk of injury.

The budget proviso is consistent with the aim of Senate Bill 6227, which PSE supports.

A 2014 Labor & Industries work group found that janitorial services workers were at greater risk of injury than workers in other service industries. The work group also found that female janitors, janitors in the profession for less than a year, and janitors who prefer a language other than English file more compensable claims than individuals outside these demographics.

The work group issued a report in December 2014 that contained recommendations, including measures to increase access to safety information, improve training, and implement reporting systems to better identify, investigate, and improve safety issues in high-risk environments.

The bill is sponsored by Senators Karen Keiser, Steve Conway, Rebecca Saldana, and Bob Hasegawa. Senators John Braun, Curtis King, and Lynda Wilson voted “Do Not Pass” out of the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee.

SB 6227 did not receive a vote by the Senate prior to the deadline. The Senate budget currently does not contain the study provision. Negotiators from the House and Senate will work out differences between their respective budget proposals before the scheduled end of the Session, March 8.

The budget bill is SB 6032.

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