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Hotel bed lifting systems can cut housekeeper overexertion injuries in half, study shows

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Balearic Islands President Francina Armengol and Gabriel Escarrer Jaum, executive vice president and CEO of Melià Hotels International, talk with a member of a hotel housekeeping staff. Photo: Melià Hotels

Palma, Spain — Hotel beds with lifting systems can help reduce injuries among housekeepers by at least half, results of a recent study by a safety agency in Spain’s Balearic Islands suggest.

At a hotel in Palma that uses lifting mechanisms, researchers from the Balearic Institute of Occupational Safety and Health assessed the effort needed to make a bed while using a lift compared with making beds not equipped with lifts. Results show that hotel workers making a single bed without a lift had to exert 8.4 times more force. For double beds, exertion multiplied by 7.3 times.

 

The hotel hasn’t recorded an overexertion injury among its housekeeping staff since 2019, according to a press release. Additional benefits include less absenteeism and increased well-being among the hotel’s employees.

The study drew praise from Balearic Islands President Francina Armengol and Iago Negueruela, the minister of economic model, tourism and employment.

Armengol notes in the release that, in 2019, housekeepers in the Balearic hospitality industry experienced around 27% of all work-related injuries. Of those, more than a third were caused by overexertion, with back injuries being the most common.

Negueruela adds that the study results “support the government’s decision to make elevatable beds mandatory for hotels” under a forthcoming tourism law.

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