UTHGRA Argentina housekeeper survey confirms global scope of workplace-related injury and illness
The IUF-affiliated UTHGRA has completed a survey of hotel housekeepers' health in Argentina, Brazil, Spain and three Asian countries (Cambodia, Philippines and Indonesia). The results confirm that current work arrangements are injurious to workers' physical and psychological health, and highlight the urgent need to redesign the workplace.
Hazardous workplace regimes built on repetitive strenuous tasks combined with high workloads produce not only physical injuries, illnesses and musculoskeletal disorders but also debilitating levels of stress and anxiety, the survey shows.
In Argentina, 50% of those surveyed had muscular pain in 2 or more body areas; 48.2% were taking pain medication; and 53% suffered from clinical anxiety. In Spain, the comparable figures were 70%, 71% and 96%; in the Asian countries, 60%, 74%, and 44.7%, respectively. Musculoskeletal disorders were the cause of nearly one-quarter of medical absences; housekeepers in all countries suffered from insufficient sleep and chronic fatigue.
The hazards have long been identified, along with the necessary preventive measures. Unions must take the lead in remaking housekeeping.
Click here to read a summary of the study.