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Hotel housekeeping takes a toll on the body

Hotel housekeepers are at their busiest this time of year as families take summer vacations ahead of the new school year. It’s physically demanding work, which means a high risk of injuries of all kinds.

It’s been estimated that these employees have a 40 percent higher risk of injury than those in other service industries.  Let’s look at some of the most pervasive types of injuries for those who clean hotels and other types of lodging.

Musculoskeletal injuries 

These injuries, which involve muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, bones and ligaments, are especially common. They can be caused by repeated squatting, bending, kneeling, lifting and other motions a person uses as they clean rooms. In fact, it’s been estimated that housekeepers use about 8,000 different postures per room cleaning.

Falls caused by slipping or tripping are also a leading cause of musculoskeletal injuries. They’re also sometimes categorized as “acute trauma” injuries.

Cumulative trauma injuries

Hotel housekeeping involves numerous repetitive motions. Workers are at risk of suffering a range of injuries caused by repetitive movements. Cumulative traumas most often cause back, shoulder, knee, arm and neck injuries.

Risks to personal safety

There have been some high-profile cases of hotel housekeeping sexual assault. Workers, unions and other advocates have been persistent in bringing the dangers of physical assault by guests in the confines of their hotel room to the attention of the industry and the public. Many hotels now provide their housekeeping staff with panic buttons to use if they fear for their safety. 

Other types of injuries

Those on the housekeeping staff never know what they’re going to find in a hotel room. They’re sometimes injured by everything from broken glass to used needles.

Those who clean for a living are always at risk of inhaling or touching cleaning products that have extremely strong and often toxic chemicals. These can cause serious respiratory and skin issues.

Whether you’re a college student working as a hotel housekeeper over summer break to help pay for your education or you’re a full-time, year-round housekeeper, you have the right to workers’ compensation benefits if you become ill or injured as a result of your work. This can help pay for medical bills and lost wages. If you’re having trouble getting that compensation, it may be wise to seek legal guidance.


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