Checking in on Housekeepers' Ergonomic Injuries

During a Safety 2018 session on June 5, Annmarie Feeley Jones, CSP, of Chubb advised using photos to communicate body mechanics and proper use of tools to the workers.

SAN ANTONIO -- Training housekeepers to properly use cleaning and maintenance tools and cleaning chemicals are key to preventing musculoskeletal and other types of injuries in this workforce, two experts from Chubb North America said in a June 5 session at the American Society of Safety Professionals/ #Safety2018 conference and expo here.

Annmarie Feeley Jones, CSP, was one of the presenters. She advised her audience to consider using photos to communicate body mechanics and proper use of tools. Jones said the fact that 22 languages are spoken just in the housekeeping department of one of her client hotels in Las Vegas shows why photos may be the best way to communicate these things.

She advised managers to ensure they check on housekeeping personnel following their training to make certain they are using the tools correctly and following the training guidance, and to make sure they aren't bringing chemicals in from home to the workplace, for example. Supervisors should check in on rooms as housekeepers work to confirm these, she recommended.

As for when a housekeeping worker returns from injury, "That's a teaching moment. That's when you need to retrain," she said.

One of Jones' final recommendations is a familiar one: Talk with the workers to find out what hazards and problems they're encountering. "Those workers who do the job have the best ideas," she said.

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