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Hotel housekeepers can suffer work-related injuries

Many people who think of workplace injuries think of people who work in dangerous jobs, such as construction workers. Some people might not realize that even seemingly safe industries, such as the housekeeping industry, have certain risks that can lead to workplace injuries. In fact, when it comes to workers in the service sector, workers at hotels have an injury rate that is 40 percent higher than others in the sector.

Housekeepers in hotels face some very serious risks that mustn't be ignored. These individuals, most often women, have to clean high surfaces, push heavy carts full of supplies, lift heavy mattresses and work on their hands and knees. In some cases, the up and down movements of the job can lead to injuries. In other cases, the heavy lifting and pushing leads to the injuries.

When more than 660 housekeepers in the hotel industry were interviewed, 91 percent reported having work-related pain. Out of the workers in the United States and Canada who reported work-related pain, 66 percent had to take pain medication so they would be able to complete the day's work and 77 percent said the pain interfered with their routine activities.

It is imperative that hotels take proper precautions to ensure that the housekeepers who take care of the premises remain safe. Properly staffing the housekeeping schedule, for example, can ensure the workers are able to work at a safe pace.

When a hotel worker is injured, that worker has the right to seek compensation. In some cases, compensation is the only way the worker can make ends meet until he or she is able to return to work.

Source: Unite Here!, "Housekeeping Can Be Dangerous Work," accessed Aug. 25, 2015

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