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Hotel housekeepers have the most dangerous service-industry job

On Behalf of | Aug 4, 2023 | Workers' Compensation |

Pennsylvania hotel workers face a high risk of injury, in general, but research shows that hotel housekeepers are especially at risk of suffering a serious work-related injury. This is due in large part to the highly physical nature of housekeeping work, which requires workers to spend considerable time lifting heavy items and cleaning on their hands and knees.

Per UNITE HERE, today’s employers expect the typical hotel housekeeper to clean 14 or more hotel rooms every day. Many hotels and motels also lack adequate housekeeping staff, which means more work for those who do show up.

How dangerous hotel work is

Data shows that hotel workers of all types face a 40% higher chance of suffering an on-the-job injury than all other service-sector workers. Injury rates among housekeeping staff members are even higher, with more than 90% of hotel housekeepers reporting having experienced work-related pain on a survey. The pain was bad enough for 66% of hotel housekeepers to say they had to take pain medication for it, and two-thirds of hotel housekeepers also said their work-related pain was severe enough to warrant visits to their doctors.

Who is most at risk of an injury working in a hotel

While all hotel housekeepers face elevated injury risks, studies show that some hotel housekeepers are more at risk than others. Women who earn their living cleaning hotel rooms are 50% more likely than men who do the same job to suffer injuries. Hispanic women, in particular, are prone to housekeeping injuries and are almost twice as likely as white hotel housekeepers to injure themselves at work.

The more a hotel employer pushes its workers to clean rooms at a rapid rate, the higher the risk of injury for those who do so.