Let's face it: The Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) has put a target on injured workers suffering from cumulative trauma.
In his message issued to the workers' compensation community last Monday, WCIRB's president categorized CT claims as one of the "Big Four" challenges and concerns within California's workers' compensation system.
Let's look at the WCIRB's own data that points to a different "Big Four" - the big four characteristics of the injured workers his message targets:
1.) All recent growth in CT claims is in the Los Angeles and San Diego regions.
2.) Growth in these CT claims is concentrated in manufacturing and hospitality.
3.) Seventy percent of the CT claims in LA and San Diego hospitality industry are injured workers earning less than $500 per week.
4.) At least 52% of these injured workers need interpreters.
So according to them, the increase in CT claims is being driven by immigrant workers in the manufacturing and hospitality sectors who make less than $500 per week.
There are over 33,000 housekeepers in the LA and San Diego metropolitan areas alone.
Watch this video to get a brief perspective on the work they do every day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZTpUFMsHJo (Sadly, the fitted-sheets bill didn't pass.)
Blaming over-worked and underpaid immigrant workers in two of California's most populous areas is not the right approach.
What about inhumane workloads?
After over six years of struggle, California's Hotel Housekeeping Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention standard finally went into effect on July 1, 2018. Monitoring compliance and collaborating with workers to ensure they have the proper materials to perform their jobs with minimal injury might be the better approach.
Note: Despite its official sounding name, the WCIRB is not a government entity. It is funded by the insurance industry.