Safety First in the Hotel Industry

On the heels of the most popular summer travel weekend (a recent survey by The Vacationer showed over 55% of U.S. adults planned to travel this past 4th of July weekend), it’s timely to consider the safety and wellbeing of our hardworking hotel workers. 

Hospitality employees are increasingly feeling the strain of unbridled demand from eased pandemic travel restrictions, coupled with ongoing staffing shortages. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the leisure and hospitality sector is down by 8.7% since February 2020. This means hotel workers are facing more pressure to do more work faster and to work longer hours, subjecting them to increased stress and risk of injury.

Hotel Workers Face High Injury Risks

Staffing shortages and booming travel are only intensifying the risks hotel workers have always faced on the job – especially housekeepers, who experience the majority of workplace injuries in this sector. Their daily routines require labor-intensive work, such as lifting mattresses, pushing heavy carts, and cleaning surfaces. These tasks lead to repetitive bending, twisting, and lifting that can cause strain and sprain injuries.

Strain and sprain injuries are the most common workplace injury among hotel workers.

Strain & sprain claims happen 40% of the time in the hotel industry and represent 50% of all claims costs.

National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), 2019

The effects of strain and sprain injuries are significant, both in terms of productivity and expense.

Employees lost an average of 11 days of work due to sprain and strain injuries in 2019.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics

Total strain and sprain indemnity claims for hotels equaled $18.5 million, with the average claim at $9,749 in 2019.

NCCI State Average for Hotels; Accident Year 2019

Tech-Enabled Workers’ Comp Can Reduce Injuries

Wearable technology can give our essential hotel workers, especially housekeepers, some much-needed support when it comes to safety. These unobtrusive devices help prevent workplace injuries by encouraging users to reduce the amount of high-risk movements they perform. Wearables continuously coach workers to use proper posture when doing risky movements, such as lifting while making a bed or bending and twisting while cleaning a bathroom. 

The result is that workers create new habits that help them to experience significantly fewer strain and sprain injuries, so they can feel better on the job and keep working.

In environments where high strain & sprain injury rates are present, such as among housekeepers, the Kinetic Reflex Wearable has been verified to reduce injury frequency by 50-60% and lost work days by 72%.

Perr&Knight Actuarial Analysis, 2021

When a hotel operator deploys wearable tech among their workforce, they experience the benefits of behavior change and gain access to new data that helps them to further reduce workplace hazards. Data insights can uncover high-risk times of the day, as well as the types of jobs, and even specific individuals, who could benefit from additional safety training. 

Hospitality employers have better access to wearable technology than ever before, as it’s now being included at no cost in innovative workers’ compensation policies. These offerings enhance worker safety, and ultimately reduce claims and lower premium costs for policyholders.

The U.S. Travel Association’s latest forecast projects that all segments of travel will continue to surge this year due to pent-up demand and consumer savings. As hotel operators deal with this increased demand and the ongoing labor shortage, leveraging a tech-driven workers’ comp program can help keep workers safe and on the job while enhancing operations and reducing costs.

Kinetic Insurance, in partnership with Nationwide, is pioneering a technology-driven approach to worker safety that benefits insurance carriers, brokers, and policyholders. Our workers’ compensation offerings lower costs by equipping workers with wearable technology that is proven to reduce injuries by as much as 60% and lost work days by 72%. Want to learn more? Click here to inquire about being appointed with Kinetic Insurance.