Competition remains fierce among companies in the hospitality industry as they compete for travelers’ business. To compete, many hotels, motels, inns, and resorts have increased their perks. These amenities can include everything from frequent towel service to luxurious bedding, all of which can take a physical toll on hospitality workers.
In fact, statistics show that hospitality workers report injuries at greater-than-average rates compared with workers in other fields. This means that many hospitality workers need to avail themselves of Workers’ Compensation benefits, which help cover lost wages and expenses related to medical treatment.
Individuals who are denied claim coverage may seek out the assistance of Workers’ Compensation lawyers to help appeal their case and overturn an initial denial.
Why Hospitality Workers Present High Injury Rates
What makes a hospitality job so demanding from a physical standpoint? Hospitality workers are constantly moving and shifting to get their work done. A housekeeper will go from room to room, cleaning bathrooms, pushing a vacuum, and picking up wet, heavy towels from floors and furniture.
In addition to bending and scrubbing, hospitality workers often lift and move objects. These can include premium mattresses, which can weigh more than 100 pounds depending on the brand. Plush coverlets, pillows, and mattress toppers can also be demanding to move around. Plus, workers frequently push carts around. The carts have wheels but can still be difficult to maneuver when fully laden with soiled sheets, trash, complimentary toiletries, and ordinary cleaning supplies.
Over time, all these responsibilities can put hospitality workers at greater risk of suffering an acute or chronic injury that keeps them off the job temporarily or permanently.
Types of Injuries Common among Hospitality Workers
Hospitality workers can suffer almost any type of injury or accident during the course of a shift. However, several types of injuries tend to go hand-in-hand with hospitality occupations:
- Muscle sprains, strains, and tears. Because hospitality workers tend to be in constant motion, they may end up overexerting themselves. This can lead to muscular or soft tissue problems that require medical attention and treatment.
- Back problems. Back, neck, and shoulder injuries often come from the repetitive motions expected in hospitality work. For instance, carrying or manipulating heavy objects may lead to a herniated disk or shoulder dislocation. Because back problems can require physical therapy or even surgery, as well as become lifelong concerns, they should be examined and diagnosed early by a health care professional.
- Broken bones, cuts, bruises, and traumatic head injuries. Most people forget that hospitality workers often deal with slippery surfaces, such as wet bathroom floors. They may also have to navigate guest room floors cluttered with suitcases, clothing, and other personal belongings. This can increase the likelihood of a worker slipping or falling. Slip and fall accidents frequently are linked to broken bones or even head trauma such as concussion.
- Chemical exposure. Most hospitality workers have constant exposure to cleaning supplies that may contain harsh toxins and chemicals. In some cases, those chemicals can cause burns or long-term health issues.
What Should Injured Hospitality Workers Do?
Like all employees, hospitality workers have the right to avail themselves of Workers’ Compensation after being hurt while performing their work duties. It is critical for workers to receive urgent or immediate attention after any kind of a workplace accident. It is just as important for workers to be seen for nagging issues such as chronic lower back, knee, or neck pain.
Submitting a Workers’ Compensation claim requires that the hospitality worker first tell a supervisor or human resources manager about the injury. This can be done verbally, although having a written record establishes a more exact date. When asked, the employer should provide the worker with the proper Workers’ Compensation paperwork to begin and submit a formal claim.
Not all employers or Workers’ Compensation insurance providers accept claims on the first submission. Many deny them, especially if the injury is chronic rather than acute. This is why many hospitality workers choose to partner with Workers’ Compensation lawyers to make their appeal. Working with a lawyer allows workers to focus their attention on getting well and remove some of the stressors of dealing with the Workers’ Compensation process.
Exton Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich & Sweeney, LLC Assist Hospitality Workers Who Have Been Injured on the Job
If you are a hospitality worker who sustained a workplace injury, reach out to the Exton Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Wusinich & Sweeney, LLC. Our legal team understands the Workers’ Compensation process and will work to ensure you can qualify for all benefits to which you are entitled. Contact us online or call us at 610-594-1600 for a free consultation today. We are located in Exton, Pennsylvania, and we serve residents of Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.