When people in North Carolina think about dangerous occupations that can lead to work-related injuries or illnesses, they typically think about construction, law enforcement, firefighting and other jobs that inherently carry a high level of risk. People may not normally consider jobs in the hospitality industry a dangerous profession. However, the industry has more than its share of work-related injuries and illnesses among employees, and the following outlines some of the risks involved as well as how to get help.
Most common risks
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the hotel and motel industry saw more than 11,300 nonfatal work-related injuries and illnesses in 2020. The Bureau released statistics in 2021 that claimed these illnesses and injuries cost more than $2.81 billion. The most common causes of work-related illnesses and injuries in the industry include:
- Slip, trip and fall accidents
- Muscle strains and sprains
- Cleaning hazards
- Viruses and diseases
Slip, trip and fall accidents accounted for nearly 35% of workers’ compensation claims. Sprains and strains often result from lifting heavy objects, such as when making a bed, as well as conducting repetitive motions, such as vacuuming and dusting. Additionally, workers may be exposed to caustic chemicals while cleaning, doing pool or spa maintenance, and other tasks. Finally, workers are ever-presently at risk for contracting diseases from hotel guests and other staff members.
How to pursue workers’ comp benefits
The industry has experienced substantial employee attrition recently, and many hotel managers and key personnel are working diligently to help make work environments safe for all. However, this does little to help an employee who has already suffered an injury or illness on the job. Anyone in North Carolina who works in the hospitality industry and was injured at work, or contracted a disease from working, should contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney for help.