New Study Shows Higher Injury Rates for Hotel Workers

A new study released on Aug. 27 at PREMUS, the Sixth International Scientific Conference on Prevention of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders, held in Boston, highlights the differences in injury rates by gender, race/ethnicity, or both. PREMUS gathers researchers from around the world with the goal of preventing work-related musculoskeletal disorders.

Dr. Susan Buchanan, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, presented the results, which raised many questions as to why certain workers are getting injured at different rates.

According to a news release, the study focused on the differences in injury rates by race, ethnicity, and gender of hotel workers in the United States by utilizing hotel employer records of work-related injuries and employee hiring list data.

A sample of 35 union hotels in the "full-service" sector was selected for further study of disparities in injury rates by gender and race/ethnicity. This sample includes 16,000 workers employed annually with more than 700 injuries occurring each year during the 2003-2005 time period.

Some key findings include:

  • The job titles included in this new injury study--room attendants, stewards/dishwashers, banquet servers and cooks/kitchen workers--represent 49% of the hotel workforce
  • Injury rates of 5.5% for females compared to 3.7% for males
  • Injury rates of 4.9% for nonwhites compared to 3.0% for whites, with even higher rates by demographic subgroups
  • The combination of increased risk by gender with the increased risk by race/ethnicity suggests an even greater increased risk for women of color: Hispanic Stewards/Dishwashers, 10.0%; Hispanic Room Attendants, 9.5%; Asian Cooks, 8.9%; Hispanic Banquet Servers, 3.9%; and Black Hotel Workers, 3.8%.

For more information about the study, along with other key findings, visit www.unitehere.org/presscenter/release.php?ID=3258.

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