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The other side of the strength of the economy: accidents in the hospitality industry grow by 14%

Date: June 17, 2024 Time: 03:15:15

2023 has left the shadows of the pandemic behind and promises to exceed the figures for 2019 in number of visitors and contribution to the GDP of the tourism sector. The reactivation of this sector is more than evident, despite the rise in prices of accommodation, restaurants and leisure, since foreign and national demand does not stop growing. However, this has not been transferred to the field of employment, as the unions denounced this week. The hospitality industry is once again creating recovery jobs, but this is accompanied by a black ‘face b’, occupational accidents have grown between January and April by 14% compared to the same period in 2022, from 12,385 to 14,136, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Labor and Social Economy.

From the Spanish Hospitality Business Confederation (CEHE) they attribute this increase to the intense incorporation of workers in recent months, which is close to 100,000. The employer understands that it is normal that as the number of workers increases, accidents that take place in the workplace also grow, despite the fact that it would be desirable for this figure to be reduced to zero. However, Comisiones Obreras rejects that this is the only explanation for these data. Mariano Sanz, secretary of Occupational Health and Environmental Sustainability of the union, recalls in a conversation with La Información that the rate of accidents during the day -that is, the number of accidents per 100,000 workers- has also risen by 6.9%.

“In the hospitality sector, things are not being done well in terms of occupational hazards,” denounces Sanz, who claims to be aware that the quality of occupational risk prevention has been devalued in recent years, especially in small companies, which are the majority in the field of accommodation and, above all, in the field of catering. In companies with less than 25 workers, the owner can assume all the training and prevention functions, which he believes often leads to a less exhaustive preparation of the workers, who often do not have the necessary training to carry out that task. job

Unions point out failures in risk prevention

After the economic slowdown forced by the coronavirus, many workers emigrated to other professional sectors, with better wages, hours and more insurance. However, the return to “normality” has demanded the incorporation of thousands of workers very quickly, to respond to the high demand for these services. This high turnover of workers prevents the professionalization of the sector, which Sanz points out as one of the key elements for it to be safe. The more trained the workers are in the performance of a role or task, within their job, the more aware they are of their risks and the precautions they must take to prevent accidents from occurring.

Although, the devaluation of risk prevention services is a trend that comes from afar, according to the CCOO. Specifically, they point out that since 2012 there has been a progressive commercialization of these benefits, which are assigned to ‘low cost’ companies. “They carry out very generic risk assessments, prevention plans that are also very generic and are more exposed to the pressure that employers can exert so that training is rapid,” Sanz reproaches. In 2022, the rate of accidents at work grew by 20.8% compared to the previous year, which had been marked by the aftermath of the covid. However, the comparison with 2019 draws a more positive scenario, before the pandemic there were 4,013 cases per 100,000 workers, while in 2022 there were 2,980, this is a reduction of 25.7%.

Gonzalo Fuentes, head of hospitality for the CCOO Services Federation, also refers to the quality of prevention, but also identifies other causes. “I was not surprised to learn this information, because it is due to an increase in brutal workloads, in which employees are forced to run in kitchens, in restaurant rooms, between hotel rooms and all this gives lead to muscle injuries, exhaustion and psychosocial damage,” says Fuentes. The worker representative understands that it is essential that employers become aware and train their employees to prevent these situations from occurring, since they even cost the lives of Workers.

In the first four months of the year there have been 230 fatal accidents, 197 of them during the working day and of these, 54% are in the service sector. Between January and April 2023, three workers have lost their lives while working in accommodation services and another six, in food and beverage services. In addition, according to the records of the Ministry of Labor and Social Economy, physical overexertion of the musculoskeletal system and blows against an immobile object or another worker in movement are the majority accidents, totaling in each case about 5,000.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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