Sunday, September 02, 2007

New Study Reports High Injury Rates for Hotel Workers, Even Higher Rates for Women and Nonwhites

Musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace ...

"A new study released on Monday, August 27, 2007 at PREMUS -- the Sixth International Scientific Conference on Prevention of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders, held in Boston, highlights the differences in injury rates by gender, race/ethnicity or both. Dr. Susan Buchanan, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, presented the alarming results that raise many questions as to why certain workers are getting injured at different rates. PREMUS is a prestigious academic conference, gathering researchers from around the world with the goal of preventing work-related musculoskeletal disorders.

This first study ever on the differences in injury rates by race, ethnicity and gender of hotel workers in the United States utilized hotel employer records of work-related injuries and employee hiring list data. This is the largest study of hotel workers' injuries ever performed in the United States aside from data that the Department of Labor collects annually.

A sample of 35 union hotels in the "full-service" sector was selected for further study of disparities in injury rates by gender and race/ethnicity. This sample includes 16,000 workers employed annually with over 700 injuries occurring each year during the 2003-2005 time period.

Key Findings:

-- The job titles included in this new injury study -- room attendants,
stewards/dishwashers, banquet servers and cooks/kitchen workers --
represent 49% of the hotel workforce; therefore, these study findings
require serious attention given the large number of workers affected in
the hotel industry.
-- Disparities by gender: injury rates of 5.5% for females compared to
3.7% for males.
-- Disparities by race/ethnicity: injury rates of 4.9% for nonwhites
compared to 3.0% for whites, with even higher rates by demographic
subgroups.
-- The combination of increased risk by gender with the increased risk by
race/ethnicity suggests an even greater increased risk for women of
color:

Female Hispanic Stewards/Dishwashers: 10.0%
Female Hispanic Room Attendants: 9.5%
Female Asian Cooks: 8.9%
Female Hispanic Banquet Servers: 3.9%
Female Black Hotel Workers: 3.8%"    (Continued via Yahoo! News)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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