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Safety And Security

OSHA focuses on housekeeper injuries

May 14, 2010
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HOUSTON, TX — As service workers go, hotel employees — and especially housekeepers — have higher rates of on-the-job injuries, according to a report last year in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine (AJIM), according to the Houston Chronicle.
Housekeepers are prone to repetitive stress injuries from such continual work as changing sheets, washing restroom floors and vacuuming, according to nine researchers who studied three years of government-required accident logs at five union-represented hotels, the article stated.
The research was funded by the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees-Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union (UNITE-HERE), which represents hospitality employees, but the problem also has captured the attention of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the article noted.
While OSHA doesn''t have a specific ergonomic standard — it was repealed by Congress in 2001 before it was scheduled to go into effect — the agency has the "general duty clause" as an enforcement tool. It requires that employers provide a safe and healthy place to work, said Jordan Barab, deputy assistant secretary of labor for OSHA.
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