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Minnesota housekeeper injuries surpass coal miners and others

Research on the hotel industry in Minnesota and across the nation has revealed that housekeeping is a more dangerous job than any other is in that field. According to a survey of 1,000 Las Vegas hotel workers, 95 percent suffered work-related injuries in the four weeks prior to their consultation. In fact, a 2005 survey found that 60 percent of housekeepers suffer from back pain in comparison to 30 percent of the general population.

Amongst the work conditions that characterize housekeeping are heavy workloads, time-sensitive cleaning duties and highly repetitive lifting motions. This type of work can be a major factor in contributing to the work-related injuries that hotel housekeepers suffer. The ever-shrinking ratio of housekeeping staff to occupied rooms has increased the performance demands of these already exhausted workers. The reported results of these types of working conditions have been back injuries and other on-the-job injuries.

These reductions in staff and demands for maintaining quality work have pushed housekeepers to try to increase the number of rooms that they clean in a given period of time. Overwork and bad practices in the accommodations industry will likely cause the number of workplace injuries for these individuals to rise.

Workers' compensation laws are designed so that insurance providers cover the necessary medical expenses of employees who are injured while performing job-related duties. Certain conditions may also require the insurance provider to cover a portion of a worker's lost wages due to his or her recovery. Some injuries are cumulative, so it may be hard for a worker to prove the initial source of an injury. When a claim is denied for any reason, a lawyer may take action against the insurance provider on the worker's behalf.

Source: Twin Cities Daily Planet, "Housekeepers more injury prone than coal miners", Lucas Franco, May 27, 2014

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