People who work in hotels face a number of health and safety risks. The type of risk often depends on what kind of work they do.
Those who work in housekeeping are prone to soft-tissue injuries like shoulder and back strains. These can be caused by flipping mattresses, carrying large stacks of laundry and making up multiple beds every day. Those extra fluffy towels, robes and bedding we enjoy on vacation are very heavy for have to lift and carry them.
Employers can help minimize these injuries by properly training employees on the best way to perform physical tasks, allowing the proper breaks and even giving them time to stretch before they begin working. It’s also key that they equip their employees with the right type of gloves for their work. Housekeeping, kitchen and maintenance employees can all minimize their risk of injury and illness by wearing the appropriate gloves.
An executive with one workers’ compensation insurance company tells employers, “I encourage research into glove technology for the type of exposure your employees are faced with, and there are gloves out there for anything you do. Chemicals, kitchen use, grip, it’s all there.”
Another risk that hotel employees who interact with the guests face is violence. Sometimes, they get caught in the middle of altercations between guests. Many times, they’re the victims of violence at the hands of guests who are under the influence.
One executive with a company that provides janitorial and engineering services to hotels says, “We tell our staff if there is any kind of altercation, do not put yourself in harm’s way.”
Women who work in housekeeping at hotels have long been the victims of everything from having guests greet them at the door without clothes to rape. That problem gained media attention in 2011 when a French politician was accused of sexual assault by a New York hotel maid. The next year, a labor group in that state got hotels to agree to give those on their housekeeping staffs panic buttons to alert security guards if they encountered a problem.
If you’ve suffered an injury on the job, it’s essential to report it to your employer immediately and ensure that it is appropriately documented. This will help you secure workers’ compensation. If you have difficulty getting the workers comp you need and deserve, an attorney can provide assistance and guidance.