Between our temperate climate and an abundance of activities, Florida is one of the top vacation destinations in the world. We attract snow birds in the winter, scores of college students in the spring, and vacationing families and couples throughout the year, and in order to meet the demands of visitors and locals alike, we depend on the hospitality industry. While these workers range from young people in high school to seasoned professionals with a lifetime of experience in the field, most of them share the same long hours, intense pressure, and exposure to potentially dangerous conditions. For these types of employees, on-the-job injuries are common, and can result in lost wages as well as the loss of future earnings and opportunities in the field. If you or someone you care about works in the hospitality industry, the following is important information to be aware of regarding the types of injuries which are common, as well as the circumstances that cause them.
The Florida Hospitality Industry
According to a 2015 report on tourism in the Orlando Sentinel, the number of people visiting Florida continues to increase and based on past years, the total number of tourists could reach 100 million in 2016.Visitors are drawn to the area by the abundance of both natural and manmade attractions, and we depend on the hospitality industry to provide a level of guest service that will keep them coming back year after year.
According to reports from the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Florida, over 1.1 million people work within the leisure and hospitality industry in the state. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) reports over 15 million hospitality workers nationwide, and divides these workers into two categories; workers in arts, entertainment, and recreation, and workers in accommodations and food services. Regardless of the type of job they perform, workers face exposure to hazards such as:
- Wet and slippery floors;
- Sharp objects;
- Heavy equipment and supplies;
- Dangerous machinery;
- Wiring and electrical hazards;
- Exposure to heat and hot surfaces; and
- The threat of violence, both from other workers as well as guests.
Hospitality Worker Injuries
Based on worker injury statistics from the BLS, close to 4 percent of hospitality workers suffer some type of worker-related injury each year, with roughly half of these injuries involving lost wages and future losses in earnings as the result of job transfers and restrictions This translates into nearly 40,000 workers a year in Florida alone. Common types of injuries include the following:
- Muscle strains, sprains, and tears;
- Broken bones and dislocated joints;
- Severe cuts, lacerations, and puncture wounds;
- Chemical and thermal burns;
- Back, neck, and head injuries;
- Repetitive motion injury; and
- Injuries related to job stress, such as anxiety and heart conditions.
Contact Us for Help
If you or someone you care about has been injured on the job, contact our experienced Florida workers’ compensation attorneys right away. At Hogan Frick, we understand the impacts these injuries can have on your career and your ability to support yourself and your family. We provide professional, passionate legal representation to assist you in getting the medical benefits and compensation you need to recover.