Hotel housekeeping is the most dangerous service-sector job

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2024 | Workers' Compensation |

The demanding nature of hotel housekeeping work exposes workers to numerous injury risks. Physical strain, slips, trips and falls and exposure to hazardous chemicals are among the primary hazards encountered in this occupation.

Understanding and addressing these risks helps ensure the health and safety of hotel housekeeping staff.

Physical strain from repetitive tasks

Hotel housekeepers often engage in repetitive tasks such as lifting heavy mattresses, bending to clean low surfaces and pushing heavy carts. These activities can put significant strain on the muscles and joints. In doing so, they increase the risk of musculoskeletal injuries. Over time, repetitive motions may lead to conditions like tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Such conditions can hinder workers’ ability to perform their duties effectively.

Slips, trips and falls

The fast-paced environment of hotel housekeeping increases the likelihood of slips, trips and falls. Wet or slippery floors, uneven surfaces and obstacles in walkways pose notable hazards. Falls can result in a range of injuries, from minor bruises and sprains to more severe fractures or head injuries. Some such injuries have the potential to lead to long-term disabilities.

Exposure to hazardous chemicals

Hotel housekeepers often use cleaning products containing hazardous chemicals. These chemicals can pose certain health risks. Exposure to these chemicals through inhalation or skin contact may cause skin irritation, respiratory issues or other adverse health effects. Inadequate training or improper use of cleaning agents can increase the risk of accidental exposure or injury among housekeeping staff.

UNITE HERE reports that hotel housekeepers have an injury rate that is 40% higher than those in all other service-sector positions. By addressing these risks, hotels and motels can create a safer work environment for employees and reduce the likelihood of workplace injuries.