When it comes to occupational injuries, it is not only workers in construction, manufacturing and industries like transportation who are constantly at risk. Hotel room attendants and other workers in the California hospitality industry have daily tasks that cause accumulative damage to their health. Some see musculoskeletal injuries (MSDs) as an unavoidable part of the job.
However, MSDs are serious injuries that could affect victims for the rest of their lives. If you are a hotel room attendant, your daily tasks involve repetitive motions, forceful exertions and working in awkward body postures. Almost every job you do could ultimately leave you with musculoskeletal disorders. Knowing the risks posed by your job might help you take precautions and mitigate hazards.
Pushing overloaded housekeeping carts
At the start of your cleaning duties, you must navigate the overloaded housekeeping cart down long passages, into and out of elevators, packed with clean bed linens, towels and more. However, as you go from one room to the next, laundry will pile up on the cart. It could get to a stage where you have to lean your body awkwardly to the side to see the path ahead and avoid crashing into hotel guests.
Hotel rooms have become more and more comfortable with extra pillows, luxury mattresses and duvets. All this adds to the amount of lifting room attendants have to do. What seems to be a simple task requires you to lift the mattress — a heavy object — with one hand, and hold it up while twisting and bending to tuck the bedlinen under the mattress with the other hand. Depending on the size of the hotel, you will repeat this task multiple times each day.
Cleaning bathrooms requires you to kneel, bend and stretch repeatedly. The forceful scrubbing and maintaining awkward postures put extra stress on muscles and ligaments in your arms, wrists, neck and back.
General cleaning, vacuuming and dusting
The repetitive bending, reaching and twisting at the waist while dusting and vacuuming cause progressive damage from head to toe. Furthermore, excessive stress on your wrists could also lead to long-term damage.
Your rights to compensation
California workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for any work-related injuries. However, musculoskeletal disorders often develop over time, and you must report any such injuries as soon as you become aware of them. There is a time limit for filing workers’ compensation claims, and filing a claim after the deadline might cause your claim to be denied. An approved claim will cover all your medical expenses and lost wages.