Hyatt Hotels Told To Clean Up Working Conditions For Housekeepers

For the first time ever, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a formal Hazard Alert Letter to Hyatt Hotels, notifying the company of workplace dangers faced by housekeepers in the course of their daily work.

The Hazard notice is the culmination of a year-long investigation of Hyatt properties nationwide led by OSHA. The investigation was commenced because of a major filing of injury complaints against the company in eight cities in 2010.

The findings in the letter support themes from an academic study released in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine in 2010. That study looked at 5 different hotel companies and found Hyatt housekeepers had the highest injury rate of all housekeepers studied when compared by hotel company.

What is especially distressing about the Hazard Alert Letter is that the changes needed to make the working conditions safer are simple and easy to implement. For example, the housekeepers could be given long-handled mops and fitted sheets for rooms to minimize the amount of bed lifting and straining housekeepers do daily.

The letter also notes that Hyatt needs to make sure and record injuries of subcontracted workers at its hotels, taking on the hotel over a loophole that has supported its aggressive use of contract workers to clean hotel rooms.

It’s a significant step in the right direction in recognizing the very real dangers and hard work of hotel workers and importantly, contract labor for hotels. But it’s also a testament to the greed of the Hyatt corporation that it is more willing to fight workers rather than adopt simple and easy accommodations that would make those  jobs safer.

Related Stories:

Rally Held For Hyatt Andaz Housekeepers As Boycott Continues [Video]

Faculty Demand Hyatt Reinstate Fired Housekeepers

Photo from laverrue via flickr.

14 comments

Roro l.
Roro l.about a year ago

thanks

Duane B.
.3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Terry V.
Terry V.3 years ago

noted

aj E.
aj E.4 years ago

sad

Debbie Wood
Debbie Wood4 years ago

It isn't just the hotel workers who have it rough. I worked for Merry Maids for 9 years. My second year there I fell down a flight of stairs in a condo that was poorly lighted. I landed on my tail bone and my left knee cap was halfway down my leg, plus I was bruised from head to toe. At first my employer was worried about getting my work done, but then sent me to a workmans comp doc who claimed I just had a bruised siatic nerve and gave me ibuprophen. I went right back to work, pain and all. I continued to work there for another 7 years, fell other times, but they never took it serious and I need the job. I needed to work. My last 6 months there I was having a really hard time getting off the floors after scrubbing them. My husband was also ill and needed me at home, so I decided I couldn't do it any more. I gave them my 2 weeks notice, a few days later they decided they didn't need me anymore even for the 2 weeks. I was dismissed as if I didn't matter. I decided to look into my pain in my back and knees, plus the weakness. I had totally distroyed my knees and my back had 3 shattered vertibra. I now have 2 artificial knees, but don't want to have surgery on my back as I have seen people get worse with it. I am on Social Security disablity now. I miss cleaning, and my customers, but dedicated workers like myself were worked like dogs and used up and thrown away. I felt the company just didn't care about me, and I gave them my all. One good thing, they lost many

Barbara H.

It's about time, alright. Those women and men work their tails off and it's definitely not easy work. Back in the 60s bedding companies make top sheets for beds that were also fitted. They were wonderful. I'm wondering what ever happened to them. Big business needs to begin taking care of its employees.

Barbara H.

It's about time, alright. Those women and men work their tails off and it's definitely not easy work. Back in the 60s bedding companies make top sheets for beds that were also fitted. They were wonderful. I'm wondering what ever happened to them. Big business needs to begin taking care of its employees.

Charles P.
Charles P.4 years ago

Service employees do not get nealy enough notice and credit. They work hard and they usually work at will. Remember to tip the housekeeper when you stay overnight. They not only deserve it, they need it.

Jen Matheson
Past Member 4 years ago

About damn time too!

John Mansky
John Mansky4 years ago

Thank you for the article...