Increased workloads can take a physical toll when they make already-heavy workloads even harder, particularly in housekeeping.
Hotel housekeeping is physically strenuous work: Workers in hotels across the country report work-related injuries and pain—from pulled tendons and pinched nerves, to carpal tunnel and back pain. According to a study of company records covering thousands of employee injuries, hotel housekeepers face an injury rate of 10.4%, almost double the injury rate for non-housekeepers (5.6%).
In a survey of more than 600 hotel housekeepers in the U.S. and Canada, 91% said that they have suffered work-related pain. 77% said their workplace pain interfered with routine activities.
Rushing to finish cleaning rooms per day leaves housekeepers even more vulnerable to injury, and often leaves workers without time to take breaks or eat lunch.
While working jobs that put them at risk for injury, many workers struggle to meet the increasing monthly premiums required to participate in HEI’s health care plans. Some forgo health insurance altogether—doing without for themselves and relying on government assistance for their children.
In San Francisco, where most of HEI’s competitor hotels are union, housekeepers clean 13 rooms per day. In Arlington, Virginia, where fewer competitors are union, housekeepers must clean as many as 32 rooms per day.