Landmark OSHA statement tells Hyatt that its housekeepers are at risk
May 8, 2012
In a first for the hotel industry, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a letter to Hyatt Hotels Corporation, notifying the company of ergonomic risk factors faced by housekeepers in the course of their daily work. The letter recommends simple steps for Hyatt to take to reduce the ergonomic strain of housekeeping labor. Read the full press release here.
The OSHA letter concludes a year-long investigation process of Hyatt properties nationwide led by OSHA, instigated by a major filing of injury complaints against the company in eight cities in 2010.
The letter echoes themes from a 2010 academic study released in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, examining 50 hotel properties from 5 different hotel companies. According to the study, Hyatt housekeepers had the highest injury rate of all housekeepers studied when compared by hotel company.
The OSHA letter recognizes the dangers of housekeeping work and identifies simple remedies that Hyatt can implement across its U.S. operations, like use of long-handled mops and fitted sheets, to minimize the amount of bed lifting and straining housekeepers do daily.
“For years, we have asked Hyatt to make simple changes that would ease the toll on our bodies,” says Maria Soto, a housekeeper at the Grand Hyatt in San Antonio, who has been injured cleaning rooms. “Now our voices are being heard, and the federal government is joining us in calling on Hyatt to make our jobs safer.”Importantly, OSHA outlines Hyatt’s responsibility to record injuries of subcontracted workers at its hotels, addressing a loophole that has grown with Hyatt’s aggressive use of contract workers to clean hotel rooms.