“…hotel employees — and especially housekeepers — have higher rates of on-the-job injuries, according to a report last year in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine…”
Housekeepers are prone to repetitive stress injuries from such continual work as changing sheets, washing bathroom floors and vacuuming, according to nine researchers who studied three years of government-required accident logs at five union-represented hotels.
(From a Chron.com article) More surprising, however, is that Hispanic housekeepers had a proportionally higher rate of injuries than non-Hispanic cleaners, according to the study. The research didn’t address possible explanations for that.
The research was funded by the union Unite Here, which represents hospitality employees, but the problem also has captured the attention of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
It recently hosted a conference in Houston on health and safety issues facing Latino workers.
While OSHA doesn’t have a specific ergonomic standard — it was repealed by Congress in 2001 before it was scheduled to go into effect — the agency has the “general duty clause” as an enforcement tool. It requires that employers provide a safe and healthy place to work, Jordan Barab, deputy assistant secretary of labor for OSHA, said in a telephone interview.