Reducing Work Injuries in the Hotel Industryby Vic Zuccarello | 1 Comment
Providing a great experience for guests is the goal of every hotel, but doing so is a team effort. In fact, a lot of people are responsible for a hotel guest’s smile – from the employees that are passed in the hallway to those that come and tidy up the rooms on a daily basis. Many of these employees can feel the work they do right down to their bones and joints. This is because musculoskeletal injuries in hotel employees is common, particularly among housekeepers.
Injury risk factors for hotel workers include, but are not limited to:
- Posture – bed-making and cleaning lower level surfaces
- Repetition – vacuuming, wiping and bending
- Force – vacuuming, lifting trash bags and pushing carts on carpeting
As a risk manager, it is important to know that there are things that can be done to prevent and/or contain injuries for hotel employees, including:
- Maintenance – having equipment checked on demand and on a regular basis can help prevent injuries.
- Long-Handled Equipment – reduces bending and reaching, which minimizes the risk of back injuries.
- Post-Offer Evaluations – select candidates that can perform essential functions of the job and document pre-existing impairments so they don’t surface as a workers’ compensation claim.
- Early Intervention Programs – more than 80 percent of housekeepers are injured within the first two years of employment.1 To minimize the risk of injury, train employees in body mechanics, stretching and early symptom management.
- Reduce Exposures – consider a daily room limit for housekeeping. In loss-prevention circles, ‘15’ is known as “the magic number.”
Work Practice Controls/Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Safety Meetings – take 15 minutes at the beginning of the shift to discuss any issues that could result in employee injury.
- Reduce Loads – enforce a safety line for trash bags and bins to reduce lifting and pushing forces.
- Enforce PPE – Require that employees use protective equipment like masks, goggles and gloves and knee pads if necessary.
Reducing Work Place Injury
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, work injuries and illnesses average 5.8 for every 100 full-time hotel workers, compared to 4.4 for private industry as a whole.2 Athletico can help reduce these risks. Call 888-8-WORK4U to ask for a Needs Assessment to ensure your guests continue to have a nice stay.
The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.
- Buchanan, Susan, Pamela Vossenas, Niklas Krause, Joan Moriarty, Eric Frumin, Jo Anna M. Shimek, Franklin Mirer, Peter Orris, and Laura Punnett. “Occupational Injury Disparities in the US Hotel Industry.” American Journal of Industrial Medicine 53.2 (2010): 116-25. Web.
- US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (2016): Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Requiring Days Away From Work 2015. Available at: www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/osh2.pdf.