Workers’ Compensation in Service Industries
The service industry encompasses a broad range of different types of hospitality, including hotels and accommodation, event planning and management, golf and country clubs, among others. Occupations within this industry range from servers to porters, housekeepers, management, administrative and marketing staff.
Types of Risks and Hazards
The risks and hazards in the service industry include those that apply in most sectors, such as slips, trips and falls, repetitive strain injuries, and the risk of traffic accidents while traveling for work purposes. Injuries directly related to the service industry are those caused by operational activities. Golf and country clubs may present hazards such as accidental injuries with golf balls, accidents between pedestrians and golf carts, etc.
Number of Injuries Per Year in Hospitality
Statistics from OSHA show hotel employees have higher rates of injury than any other service workers, with room cleaning representing a particular concern. After studying incidents from a group of hotel companies over a three-year period, the overall injury rate was set at 5.2 injuries per 100 worker years, with housekeepers coming in at between seven and 10 per 100 worker years.
The Cost of Workplace Injuries
The impact of a workplace injury or illness accounts for much more than the costs of medical care, when businesses take into account the indirect areas of impact. These include:
- Effect on staff morale
- The impact on family members
- Loss of productivity and impact on revenue
- Cost of replacing lost skills
- Difficulty of recruiting new talented employees, and
- Cost of hiring new members of staff.
Providing Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Service Workers
The importance of workers’ compensation coverage for service workers cannot be understated. In an industry where success is dependent on able-bodied employees with a positive attitude, companies cannot afford to put workers at risk of injury. By ensuring adequate insurance for all medical expenses and long-term disability for recovery periods, business owners can safeguard against the devastating effect injuries can have on their operations.