Housekeeping in a hotel can be physically demanding work. Not only do you need to clean each room thoroughly, but you must also work quickly because you have multiple rooms to complete every day.
As a housekeeper, you spend most of your day lifting heavy objects such as vacuum cleaners, reaching into dirty out-of-the-way corners and bending over to make beds and pick up trash. If this has taken a toll on your body, you are not alone. Over 90% of hotel housekeepers report pain related to their jobs. This is serious enough to interfere with their duties approximately three-quarters of the time.
What types of injuries do housekeepers experience?
Acute injuries related to housekeeping are certainly possible. For example, you could slip on a slippery floor while cleaning and hurt yourself that way. However, most work-related injuries that housekeepers experience result from cumulative trauma. This is physical damage to the body that occurs over time.
What causes cumulative trauma injuries?
Cumulative trauma injuries can occur when you perform the same physical motions over and over. Examples of repetitive movements that may contribute to cumulative trauma injuries include the following:
- Reaching high to clean mirrors or dust
- Twisting your body to vacuum
- Bending over to make beds or scrub toilets
As a housekeeper, you have to perform these motions multiple times per day to clean multiple rooms. Within the hospitality industry, housekeepers experience cumulative trauma injuries at the greatest rate of any employee.
Learning more about proper ergonomics may help you avoid injuries related to your job as a hotel housekeeper. Your employer should support you in trying to avoid injuries and seeking treatment if they do occur.