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Female housekeepers disproportionately injured on the job

November 11, 2009
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WASHINGTON — A new study of workers at 50 hotels in the United States found that women were 50 percent more likely to be injured than men, and that Hispanic women had an injury rate two-thirds higher than their white female counterparts, according to the New York Times.
The study, "Occupational Injury Disparities in the U.S. Hotel Industry," which will be published in January issue of the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, noted the injury rate was higher for female hotel employees because they worked disproportionately as housekeepers, which is the most injury-prone job in hotels, the story stated.
The study found that Hispanic housekeepers had the highest injury rate — 10.6 percent a year — compared with 6.3 percent for white housekeepers, 5.5 for black housekeepers and 7.3 percent for Asian housekeepers, the story noted.
According to the article, the study did not speculate why the injury rate was so much higher for Hispanic housekeepers, but did note that Hispanic and Asian men were 1.5 times more likely to be injured than white men.
John W. Wilhelm, president of the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees-Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union (UNITE-HERE), said: "This study is stunning evidence of the unequal impact of injuries in the hotel industry, and it calls into question whether discriminatory workplace practices play a role."
The study found the highest injury rate, 10.4 percent, was at the Hyatt Hotels chain while the lowest injury rate, 5.47 percent, was at the Hilton Hotels chain, the story added.
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