Management’s ‘overt lack of concern’ for employee health and safety puts non-union casino hotel workers at risk

October 1, 2018 | Press Releases & Announcements

tired hotel housekeeping workerNon-union Las Vegas casino resort workers face increased health and safety risks due in large part to management’s lack of concern for and vigilance surrounding employee work conditions.

To understand the health- and safety-related experiences of non-union casino hotel employees, CUNY SPH Associate Professor Diana Romero, doctoral alumnus Kathleen Flandrick, doctoral candidate Pamela Vossenas, and Jason Kordosky, a representative from the Local 226 Culinary Workers Union, collaborated in a focus-group study of non-union workers employed in one of eight non-union casino resorts in Las Vegas, Nevada. The findings were published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

Focus group participants largely attributed the health and safety risks to several key themes including activities negatively affecting health and safety, barriers to health and safety,  injury and pain occurrences, coping mechanisms, job vulnerability, management policies and enforcement, within a larger context of management’s “overt lack of concern” for employee health. Workers reported that this indifference creates a negative environment whereby employer-controlled factors jeopardize employees’ health and safety.

“This study paints a comprehensive yet sobering picture of the ‘on-the-ground’ realities of the occupational health and safety challenges confronted by non-union hospitality workers in Las Vegas,” Romero says. “All paths seemed to lead to management’s disregard for workers’ health and safety.”

Fortunately, Romero says, the findings informed development of a Dynamic Theoretical Framework of Employee Health and Safety Risk that provides guidance for steps going forward to both reduce unhealthy exposures and encourage management’s engagement that can also serve their goals in increasing worker productivity.

Romero D, Flandrick K, Kordosky J, Vossenas P. On-the-ground health and safety experiences of non-union casino hotel workers: A focus-group study stratified by four occupational groups. Am J Ind Med. 2018;1–10. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajim.22896