Staff Say Hilton and Safety Agency Slow To Respond to Mold Concerns
As investigation continues, workers remain in the dark about mold
Hotel workers wearing lab coats, rubber gloves, dust masks, and safety goggles demonstrated outside the Hilton Anchorage Wednesday afternoon to protest what they consider to be an insufficient response by the Hilton to their concerns about mold. Workers, through their union, also submitted a letter to the Hilton asking for an update on management’s own program to remediate mold and moisture in the hotel.
Employees filed a state health and safety complaint in May alleging they worked around mold without adequate training or protective gear. Five months later, the state’s investigation is ongoing, but workers say the Hilton has still not provided the training and equipment they are seeking.
Ralliers asked guests to add their own observations of mold or moisture to help gather data for the state investigation.
In April 2014, some Hilton Anchorage employees reported symptoms they think may have been caused by working around mold at the hotel. The hotel reported May 6 that it had found mold or possible water damage in 48 guest rooms. At the time, the hotel advised workers to seek proper medical diagnosis and treatment if they have health concerns regarding mold exposure.
Hilton employees submitted a complaint on May 13 to the Alaska workplace safety administration alleging insufficient safety equipment, training, and knowledge of the issue to safeguard their health. The complaint remains under investigation. The Hilton has denied unsafe conditions.
The Hilton Anchorage has implemented what it calls an “aggressive” preventative maintenance program to address mold and moisture. Workers want to ensure that worker education and equipment are part of that program. Hilton documents show the hotel has been addressing leakage issues since 2012.