The health and safety risks of working in housekeeping

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2022 | Workers' Compensation

Those whose only cleaning responsibilities involve their own home often don’t realize just how difficult and sometimes dangerous it is to earn your living cleaning homes, offices, hospitals, hotels and other establishments. Even though the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) describes the work of “maids and housekeeping cleaners” as “light cleaning duties,” it can take a toll on your body over time or through one injury.

The specific types of injuries a person is most likely to suffer may vary based on where they’re working. Let’s look at the most common types of injuries in this profession.

Musculoskeletal injuries

These can result from hours a day spent lifting, bending, squatting, scrubbing and kneeling. These injuries affect muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Often the back, shoulders and neck are most seriously affected. 

Even though housekeepers don’t do the same repetitive motions that someone on an assembly line would do, they nonetheless can suffer injuries caused by repetitive stress on the same areas of the body.

Fall injuries

Slip-and-fall injuries are common because housekeeping workers are typically the ones called in to clean spills. They’re often working on slippery surfaces when they clean floors. Trip-and-fall accidents are common as well – especially for those working in an area that’s unfamiliar to them

Employers have a responsibility to provide their housekeeping staff with the training and equipment to do their jobs safely. Although exposure to harsh chemicals like those in cleaning supplies is often unavoidable, the right gloves, masks and other protective gear can lessen the chances of injuries or health issues they can cause.

Too often, housekeeping employees consider their aches and pains part of the job and don’t seek medical care when they need it. Workers’ compensation is available to help people get the medical care and time away from work they need to recover without suffering financially. If you or a loved one is having a difficult time getting workers’ comp for a work-related injury, it may be wise to seek legal guidance.