What’s so dangerous about hotel room cleaning? It turns out, a lot.

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Today’s post comes from guest author Edgar Romano from Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano. Lots of potential injuries lurk for hotel housekeepers going about their daily tasks. Mr. Romano has some good advice for all workers to be sure they don’t ignore short-term pains because those issues can come with long-term consequences. And as a hotel guest, I think about leaving my towels by the sink, for example, instead of throwing them on the floor, because that’s one less time a hard-working housekeeper has to bend down to retrieve those items.

Hotel housekeeping may not seem dangerous, but it can be grueling physical labor. A recent study published by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reported that tasks including dusting, vacuuming, changing linens, making beds, and scrubbing bathrooms may lead to a range of injuries. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Neck, back and leg injuries caused by repeated bending over and pushing carts
  • Respiratory problems due to exposure to mold and other contaminants
  • Respiratory and skin problems caused by the use of chemical cleaners
  • Slips, trips and falls caused by wet or slippery floors

The good news is there is a lot that can be done to prevent these injuries. For example, the California State Senate recently passed legislation requiring hotels in California to provide room cleaners with long-handled mops, reducing the time they spend bent over while working. They also mandated the use of fitted, rather than flat, bed sheets, reducing the need to lift heavy mattresses. Injuries among hotel room cleaners are not a necessity of doing business. Small changes can make a big difference. If you know someone who works as a hotel room cleaner, make sure they don’t ignore persistent pains, as repetitive stress injuries can worsen over time, particularly if left untreated.