Links:  Display topics   Student perspectives   pdf version of displays   CUErgo
Display Topics

Indoor air quality considerations 

and Injuries 

Signs and 
Information  Design

Guest Room Bed

Hotel Office Space 

Special Guests

Kitchens / 
Reception Area


Cleaning and Maintenance

This page provides a brief summary of the display presented at the Hotel Ezra Conference "Once in a Lifetime" , April 7-9 at Cornell University.  These displays addressed a variety of issues related to the use of ergonomics in hotels.  Please see the pdf files on CUErgo for a more detailed information about each issue described below.

The "student perspective" page offers some insight into the process behind a class project that challenged students to apply principles learned in the classroom to a real world situation.  The involvement of graduate students in the Hotel Ezra Conference  can be considered typical of those done in DEA at Cornell University.

Indoor air quality is an important issue for facilities. In terms of health for guests and productivity for employees, there are many important aspects to be concerned.

Based on scientific reports, my presentation focused on biological contaminants, carpet selection,ventilation system and smoking policy in hotels.

In 1998, the incidence rate of accidents and injuries for hotel for employees (7.6) was higher than the average of private industry (6.7). (The incidence rates represent the number of injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time workers)

"Slips and falls" is the most prevelant accident type by cost for both guests and employees. A recent study shows that the use of materials with higher levels of friction can reduce the number of slips and falls in a hotel.



The majority of visitors to a hotel are in unfamiliar surroundings.  Therefore it is important to provide signage for navigation as well as safety (fire exits, etc.)

Guidelines for sign design and placement were presented, as well as good and bad examples of each.



A comfortable bed is one of the most important amenities in the hotel guest room. In fact, in a study of business travelers' selection of lodging, 93.8% of respondents said that comfortable mattresses and pillows were important to them in their selection of a hotel room. 

Mattresses and pillows that lead to a comfortable and restful night's sleep conform to the spine's natural curves and keep the spine in alignment.



To the business traveler, a comfortable work area is an important component of a hotel room. The design of the chair and office desk should be adjustable to allow the guest to create a neutral working posture.

Examples of ergonomic chairs and workstations were presented to illustrate the general design principles necessary to label a chair as "ergonomic"



It is important to understand the special needs of certain guests in hotels. The effects of carpet patterns, design of steps, and lighting levels are a few things to consider when designing a hotel that is comfortable and safe for all visitors


The kitchen is a major source of accidents and employee injuries.  Examples of products were displayed to illustrate how to use cutting boards, footwear, ergonomically designed kitchen tools, and special sinks, to reduce injuries to employees in hotel kitchens.

Injuries to employees in the reception area occur because of long periods of standing.  The use of sit/stand chairs and anti-fatigue floor mats can help reduce these problems.



The design of certain aspects of the bathroom often focus on form rather than function.  Following a few simple guidelines, such as using levers instead of knobs, and clearly labeling hot and cold levers, will make the bathroom safer and easier for employees and guests to use.

Cleaning and maintaining a hotel can be an arduous and potentially dangerous task.  Simple equipment, such as bent handle scrubbers and adjustable handles for dusters and scrubbers can help reduce employee injuries.  Also, newer technology such as backpack vacuums, can make cleaning difficult areas easier.

Links: Display topics (top)   Student perspectives   pdf version of displays   CUErgo