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Hospitality Industry: MSDs and Motorized Solutions

Jobs requiring regular physical labor are very much at risk for workplace injuries. For maids and housekeeping staff working in the hospitality industry, daily work is physical by nature, making it necessary to consider the ways guest room attendants are impacted over time. Here is what you need to know in order to protect them from work-related health problems:

Musculoskeletal Injuries are Subtle Yet Debilitating

Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) usually occur as a result of repeated push/pull forces exerted on ligaments and tendons beyond what the body can tolerate, and they don’t always require a single severe strain in order to cause real damage. What can make these types of injuries difficult to catch is that they sometimes require months to years of repeated stress before they begin to manifest at a debilitating level, and a worker may not even realize they are developing an MSD before it’s too late. Simple tasks like pushing a laundry or cleaning supplies cart may not seem overly strenuous at first, but doing so all day, every day can cause significant damage to the wrists and joints of unwitting hospitality industry employees.

There’s no debate that a work-related injury isn’t a positive thing. If an employee hurts, a caring employer hurts with them. In general, as a force exceeds and repetitions increase, an employee will be at greater risk for developing an MSD, and given the cost of workplace MSDs, this is a serious issue for both the employee and the employer. After workman’s comp, time off, medical bills, insurance premiums, and potential OSHA fines, a single MSD injury could run a business tens of thousands of dollars. That hefty sum multiplies with each injury and each injured employee, making systemic problems in workplace safety both expensive and damaging.

How Motorized Linen Carts and Laundry Tuggers Can Help

To protect hospitality industry employees, the excess push/pull forces exerted during labor must be eliminated. Ergonomic motorized solutions are designed to do precisely that in the form of easily operable technology. The two most common methods for approaching a hospitality industry application are with battery-powered motorized carts and motorized tuggers. Motorized carts are self-powered platform carts. Typically, either an existing manual linen or supply cart, with casters removed, is installed on the platform or the motorized carts are supplied complete with any needed shelving and enclosures. Tuggers, on the other hand, have power enough to move themselves plus one or more manual carts. Tugs are a way to bring power to a cart on an as needed basis.

In order to find out what type of solution would best serve your hospitality staff, it’s best to start by asking questions about your operational needs. For example, does your facility already have linen or laundry carts in place you’d like to keep on using? Does your facility have sole proprietorship over existing equipment? Would moving more than one cart at once be ideal for your application? How much ground does your operation cover, and what kinds of geography does your solution need to navigate? Mostly importantly, how many carts need to be safely transported? It’s important to know the answers to these types of questions in order to adequately communicate with your ergonomic engineers and set the groundwork for what kind of motorized solution will best serve your needs.

Understanding the safety concerns apparent in the hospitality industry and outlining your material transport needs as a company are the first steps in finding a solution. For more information on ergonomic motorized equipment designed to keep your staff safe, connect with one of our experts via the Contact Page.

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