There is no shortage of hotels throughout Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., and there is also no shortage of injuries among the workers who clean those hotels. Research shows that, while hotel workers, in general, experience more injuries than employees working in any other service-sector environment, hotel housekeepers, in particular, face a high risk of hurting themselves on the job.
Per Unite Here, hotel workers, regardless of position, suffer 40% more on-the-job injuries than those who make their living in restaurants, bars and other service-industry settings. Because the physical demands placed on hotel housekeepers, in particular, are so notable, employees who clean hotel rooms are most at risk of suffering back and other serious injuries.
Who is most at risk
While all hotel housekeepers face an injury rate of 7.9 injuries per every 100,000 workers employed full-time, female hotel housekeepers are 50% more likely to have an on-the-job injury than male ones. Injury rates are also high among Hispanic housekeepers, with Hispanic housekeepers experiencing 10.6 work-related injuries for every 100,000 working full-time.
Why injury rates are so high among hotel housekeepers
Cleaning hotel rooms is hard work, and it is normal for a hotel housekeeper to clean 14 rooms or more each day. This often involves moving furniture, lifting heavy items, mattresses or bedding, and reaching up high to clean mirrors, TVs and aesthetic elements. All these efforts have the potential to cause injuries, and workers may become more prone to injury when they repeatedly perform the same physical tasks over time.
While hotel housekeepers face risks of injury any time they clock in, injury risks may compound during busy seasons, when more guests are staying at hotels.