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Workplace Injury Risks Facing Hospitality Workers - Missouri Attorney

by James M. Hoffmann on Nov. 07, 2016

Employment Workers' Compensation Accident & Injury Employment  Occupational Safety & Health 

Summary: Accidents can happen even when all necessary precautions are taken. Workers should be well aware of their rights to benefits should they get injured on the job.


Hospitality industry workers are under constant pressure to ensure complete customer satisfaction. With competition in the hospitality industry now at the peak, premier hotels are trying hard to have their accommodations resemble royal rooms. All the super thick mattresses, decorative bed skirts, and plush duvets mean extra work for the housekeeping staff. The king size beds can weigh as much as 100 pounds. Now think about lifting this bed to accommodate fitted bed sheets at least 15-20 times each day, and you will realize how hard the work of an average housekeeper is. Some other tasks they perform include pushing and pulling heavy carts, stooping and climbing to clean bathroom tubs, showers and floors, and carrying heavy linens. Even the restaurant workers have to constantly strive to keep up with quick service times. In this post, our work injury lawyers will discuss some of the common injury risks facing hospitality workers.

Common injuries hotel housekeepers suffer

  • Musculoskeletal disorders involving the ligaments, joints, nerves, muscles, tendons, back and neck
  • Chemical exposure
  • Acute trauma such as fractures, contusions, burns, strains/sprains and lacerations
  • Stress due to factors such as increased work load, time limitations, sexual harassment and assault

These injuries occur frequently and affect a large percentage of workers. According to a study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine relating to housekeeping staff in hotels:

  • 47 percent experienced bodily pain range from severe to very severe in the last month.
  • 84 percent had to take pain medication during the last month for work related pain
  • 78 percent experienced pain in the last year either caused or aggravated by their work.

Injury risks facing restaurant workers

An effective risk management protocol is a must for restaurant workers as well, because bar, dining and kitchen floor can pose many dangers, especially when workers are trying hard to provide top quality service. Some of the most common injuries restaurant workers suffer stem from slips and falls and burns. Other hazards include:

  • Musculoskeletal disorders including carpal tunnel syndrome, low back pain and tendonitis related to the various duties of the kitchen crew. Additionally, wait staff has to constantly twist, reach, and lift
  • Slips, trips and falls resulting from wet and slippery floors from food spills or water
  • Ergonomic hazards include working in awkward and unnatural positions and standing for prolonged time periods
  • Cuts and lacerations caused by incorrect use of knives or by using machines with no guards or malfunctioning guards
  • Burns caused by hot surfaces, deep fryers, hot grease and steam
  • Chemical exposure resulting from using or being around compounds used to disinfect and clean
  • Assault, workers handling cash are at a higher risk of workplace violence.

Accidents can happen even when all necessary precautions are taken. Workers should be well aware of their rights to benefits should they get injured on the job. Call the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann today at (314) 361-4300 to schedule a free consultation.

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