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July 1993, 116, No. 7
Profiles in safety and health: hotels and motels
John J. Kane and Martin E. Personick
"The great advantage of a
hotel room is
that it's a refuge from home life."
- George Bernard Shaw
You Never Can Tell (1898)
Hotels and motels are homes away from home for business travelers and vacationers, offering both temporary lodging and relief from housekeeping chores back home. In attending to their guests and guestrooms, this Nation's hotels and motels employ about 1½ million workers, most of them either preparing and serving food or cleaning rooms and otherwise maintaining grounds and premises. Working around-the-clock shifts, hotels staff face a variety of safety and health risks, such as disabling falls in slippery floors; burns from preparing hot food or using caustic laundry and cleaning compounds; and sprains from handling furniture and other heavy objects.
This article examines the injury and illness experience of hotel and motel workers from 1980 to 1991. Besides hotels and motels, the industry includes ski lodges and resorts, tourist cabins, and inns (such as bed and breakfast places).1 The hotel study is part of a Bureau of Labor Statistics series focusing on "high impact' industries, which are defined as industries with the largest numbers of occupational injuries and illnesses, although not necessary the highest incidence rates.1
This excerpt is from an article published in the July 1993 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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1 Hotels and motels has been designated industry group 701 in the Standard Industrial Classification Manual, 1987 edition, prepared by the Office of Management and Budget. The industry includes commercial establishments primarily providing lodging, or lodging and meals, for the general public. Excluded from this industry are hotels operated by organizations for their members only; apartment hotels; rooming and boarding houses; and sporting and recreational camps.
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