Working in the housekeeping profession is more physically demanding and potentially dangerous than many people realize if they’ve never done this kind of work. Whether you’re cleaning offices, hotel rooms or any type of property, you need the right equipment – including protective gear – and safety training.
Let’s look at some of the most common sources of injury and harm for those who work in housekeeping.
Professional housekeeping crews use stronger cleaning products than most of us use when we clean our homes. Without the proper gloves, eye protection, masks and other gear, these chemicals can cause eye, skin and respiratory issues.
Not all dangerous chemicals are in liquids. The fumes from sprays and powders can be just as dangerous. It’s crucial to have proper ventilation when using them.
Housekeeping employees need to have the proper training in how to use and store these products safely. Employees should also be trained in how to handle spills, overexposure and other accidents.
Repetitive strain injuries (RSIs)
Housekeeping employees aren’t typically performing exactly the same movements for hours on end like someone who’s typing on a computer or working on an assembly line. However, they often spend their work hours bending, lifting, reaching and scrubbing. All of these movements can take a toll on the back and various muscles and joints throughout the body.
Employers can help prevent serious injuries by providing employees with tools that help them clean high or other hard-to-reach areas without stretching more than is safe. They can also invest in equipment like vacuums and wheeled buckets that reduce how much weight a person must move or carry.
Slips, trips and falls
Falls caused by slipping and tripping are common. Housekeeping staff are often called to clean up wet, messy floors. Those who are working in an unfamiliar office or a hotel room where a guest has left trash, luggage, shoes and other debris lying around can easily trip and fall.
If you have suffered a workplace injury or medical condition, it’s crucial to report it to your employer right away. Make sure that you exercise your right to seek workers’ compensation benefits. They’re there to help people who’ve suffered a job-related injury or illness cover their medical costs and help support themselves and their families if they’re unable to work for a time. Be sure you know your legal rights.