As a hotel and motel service worker, you provide hospitality and service to travelers. Whether you are a room cleaner, maintenance worker, or desk clerk, you help to ensure that hotel operations run smoothly and meet customers’ expectations. But, in order to keep your hotel functioning at its best, you want to insure that you stay safe and healthy on your job.
The biggest risk for hotel workers is ergonomic injury from sprains, strains, and repetitive work. Protect your back and limbs by practicing safe ergonomic principles when performing your job functions. Maintain neutral postures and rotate your tasks to give different muscles a rest. Limit the tasks that you do on your knees, over your head or with your back bent. When wiping down mirrors and surfaces, alternate arms and use slow, deliberate movements to avoid straining your muscles. Choose long-handled tools for vacuuming, mopping, scrubbing, and wiping. Take breaks every 20-to-30 minutes to give your muscles a rest.
Moving heavy, bulky, and/or wet room furnishings, doing maintenance work, or working the front desk can cause injury if the work is done improperly. Use good lifting techniques and work practices to protect your back. Keep your back straight and neutral while you work. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes to help you move freely. Avoid overreaching. Use your leg muscles to lift. Lift smaller, lighter loads or get help when you need to move heavy equipment or materials. And, use anti-fatigue mats when you will be standing in one place for a long time.
Read the label and/or safety data sheets (SDS) to know the hazards and safe work practices for the chemical products you use. Choose and use the mildest cleansers and chemicals possible that will still get the job done. Then, wash your hands with soap and water before eating, drinking, or smoking. You should wear recommended gloves while cleaning and performing plumbing jobs and be aware of exposures to body fluids, drugs, and sharps such as needles and syringes. Never reach into a garbage can and do not stomp on garbage to compact it.
Cleaning and maintenance tools can cause injury if they are not used correctly. Get training and always inspect your tools before use. Wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) including work gloves, safety glasses, and hearing protection when the hazard requires it. To help avoid the risk of electrical shock, inspect all electrical cords to see if they’re in good condition. Use caution when you are working with electrical systems and be sure to lock out or tag out powered equipment or wiring that needs service.
Ladders are commonly used to perform maintenance, wash windows, and change light bulbs. Practice ladder safety by climbing properly while holding on to the rails with both hands. Avoid reaching to the side of the ladder; climb down and reposition it if you need to. Never step on the top step of a ladder.
Rushing on the job can lead to accidents, especially on newly mopped or waxed floors. Slips on wet surfaces in bathrooms, kitchens, and lobby floors can cause serious injuries. So, clean up spills immediately and mark wet floor hazards with signs. Wear shoes with non-slip soles, take your time, and watch where you are going.
Although you perform different job tasks and may face varied hazards, you need to practice good ergonomics, use proper tools and/or protective equipment, and follow all safe work practices.