In Colorado, tourism is a huge deal and very significant to the success of our economic landscape. Our region relies heavily on service and hospitality workers to keep the tourism industry alive and thriving. Just like any other job, this type of work comes with risk of injury although the injuries in this field can be different than other verticals. With the tourism industry booming during summer, we thought this time of year was a great time to bring this topic to the forefront of everyone’s minds. To do so, we sat down with Ruth, who is relatively new to the service and hospitality industry, and who has a background in being a hairstylist, to ask her some questions about her experience.
Pinnacol Assurance is a workers’ compensation insurance company here in Colorado and is the primary one. The company is quasi-public meaning it is kind of part of the branch of Colorado. Pinnacol Assurance publishes detailed statistics on workers compensation related injuries and other related facts and figures to help inform the public on these topics. We discussed some of their findings with Ruth, to see how her real-world experiences compare to the facts.
While hospitality work-related injuries can come up at any age, time of year, body part, or other situation, there are some trends and commonalities among them in Colorado. Pinnacol Assurance reports that the most common age for a workplace injury in this field is usually between the ages 20 to 29. Ruth observed that she thought it was most likely at some point in someone’s 30s. Aside from age, time of year can be a big factor. According to Pinnacol, the most common month to get injured in service and hospitality is July. Although a lot of injuries might occur in July it is September when the most expensive injuries happen in Colorado, at least according to the insurance company.
So now that we know what age and what time of year accidents are most likely, let’s discuss what body parts are most commonly hurt. It is pretty standard to use your hands for service and hospitality-related jobs so it comes as no surprise that the number one is fingers and hands rank number two. The next most likely injured area is the lower back. Long days on your feet, picking up heavy items, or moving things are normal responsibilities for this type of work which can lead to back pain. Going back to the hand, the fourth most common injury is the thumb. Finally, knee injuries are the fifth most likely place to experience an injury.
Pinnacol Assurance and Ruth, our guest, both agree workplace injuries are going to happen more when a person is first getting started in their position. In fact, individuals are 35% more likely to be injured within the first six months on the job. The most frequent causes are cuts with work-related tools (not powered) or with broken glass. Also, people often fall or trip. Employees can further experience strain from lifting, get struck by a falling object, burns, and a variety of other injuries.
Other variables can affect work-related injuries such as time of day. In fact, most people may not realize this, if you get hurt on your work break, it is still considered a work-related injury. Although, the most frequent injuries occur around 10:00 a.m. in the morning, while conversely the most expensive take place at about 9:00 p.m. at night.
There is a ton of data, facts, and figures that portray workplace injuries in the service and hospitality industry as a whole. At Kaplan Morrell, we know each and every accident or injury is different and unique to each person’s individual case, which is why we are committed to serving our Colorado hospitality employees and are happy to represent any injured Colorado workers. Give us a call today!