204386 Occupational health disparities in the U.S. hotel industry

Monday, November 9, 2009: 8:45 AM

Pamela Vossenas, MPH , Workplace Safety and Health, UNITE HERE, New York, NY
Susan N. Buchanan, MD, MPH , Department of Occupational Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Niklas Krause, MD, PhD , School of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, Richmond, CA
Joan Moriarty, MS , Strategic Affairs, UNITE HERE, New York, NY
Eric Frumin, MA , UNITE HERE Occupational Safety & Health Program, Hotel Division, New York, NY
Jo Anna Shimek, MS , Div. of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, Chicago, IL
Frank E. Mirer, PhD , Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, Hunter College Urban Public Health Program, New York, NY
Peter Orris, MD, MPH , University of Illinois School of Public Health, Occupational Health Services Institute, Chicago, IL
Laura Punnett, ScD , Department of Work Environment, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, MA
Background: Hotel employees have relatively higher rates of occupational injury and sustain more severe injuries than most other service workers. Methods: OSHA log incidents from a sample of 50 unionized hotels drawn from 5 hotel companies for a three-year period were analyzed to calculate injury rates by job, company, race/ethnicity and sex, with a focus on room cleaning work. Injuries were classified as musculoskeletal, acute trauma, or other injuries. Denominators were constructed from the hotel workforce rosters. Multivariate Poisson regression models were used to evaluate the independent effects of demographic factors, job title, and company. Results: A total of 2,865 injuries were identified from OSHA logs for those employed during one or more years during 2003-2005, totaling 55,183 person-years of observation. The overall injury rate was 5.2 injuries per 100 worker-years. The rate was highest for Hispanics (6.4/100), housekeepers (7.9/100), female Hispanic housekeepers (10.6/100) and about double in 3 companies versus 2 others (among the four larger companies, the highest rate was 6.9/100). Acute trauma rates were highest in kitchen workers (4.0/100) and housekeepers (3.9/100); housekeepers also had the highest rate of musculoskeletal disorders (3.2/100). Age, female sex, Hispanic ethnicity, job tenure, job title, and company were all independently associated with injury risk. Conclusion: Sex and ethnicity-based disparities in injury rates were only partially explained by the type of job held and the company in which the work was performed.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss key occupational health disparities by gender and race/ethnicity among US hotel workers. Identify factors potentially contributing to these disparities, including discriminatory workplace practices by multiple employers, and unsafe practices by individual employers.

Keywords: Gender, Ethnicity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have conducted occupational injury research as part of role as assistant professor at the UIC School of Public Health. I am first author of the manuscript on the topic presented.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.