Gambling with worker safety and health: New study documents hazardous working conditions at Station Casinos



Wednesday, October 30, 2019


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Gambling with worker safety and health: New study documents hazardous working conditions at Station Casinos

Las Vegas, Nevada - In a study on occupational safety and health at four casino hotels owned by Station Casinos, researchers found that workers are needlessly exposed to safety, biological, chemical, work organization, and other workplace hazards. The study was conducted by the Occupational Health Internship Program under the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics.

Findings of a survey involving a total of 177 participants revealed that: 

The study involved workers in the food and beverage, internal maintenance, sanitation, and housekeeping departments at Boulder Station, Green Valley Ranch, Palace Station, and Palms Casino. The researchers interviewed 17 workers, reviewed OSHA records, and surveyed 177 workers at these casino hotels.

A fact sheet about the study can be found here. The study follows a peer-reviewed journal article published in 2018 about occupational safety and health at Station Casinos.

“I don’t feel like I have any support from the company,” said Rafael Diaz, a kitchen worker at Palace Station for over four years and a member of the casino’s safety committee. “It’s not a problem with money, it’s a problem with responsibility. When we have a little more awareness and accountability, those problems will start resolving themselves.”

Station Casinos is the operating subsidiary of publicly-traded Red Rock Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ: RRR), which in 2018 generated over half a billion dollars in adjusted EBITDA (a measure of profitability).[1] The company finished its $192 million renovation of Palace Station last September and recently concluded its $690 million renovation of the Palms casino.[2],[3]

“I was quite disturbed to discover the high number of hazards workers are exposed to every day. The survey results indicate that management must do a better job to control hazards and prevent injuries,” said Sharee Lopez, a George Washington University graduate student in Environmental and Occupational Health and Policy and co-author of the report.

“Regulators should ensure that Station Casinos is fulfilling the responsibility it has to provide a workplace that is free from recognized hazards,” said Janet Herrera, a coauthor of the report who holds a bachelor in Health Science from California State University, Long Beach. “These working conditions should not be normalized in the hospitality industry.”

Survey participants reported obstructed emergency exits, issues with emergency action plan training, not having personal access to first aid kits, a lack of healthy food available in the employee dining rooms, and issues accessing bathrooms. The researchers documented problems with chemical bottles not being properly labeled, workers reporting that they were not trained on Safety Data Sheets, and insufficient eye wash stations.

Over 85% of respondents said they have bodily pains and/or discomforts caused by their job and nearly half (45%) of respondents said they have been hurt or sustained an injury or illness that was caused by their job. Of these workers who have been hurt, over 15% responded that they did not report the injury or illness to management.

The findings of the study will be presented at the American Public Health Association’s 2019 annual conference November 2nd – November 6th in Philadelphia.




Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent 60,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno, including at most of the casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas. UNITE HERE represents 300,000 workers in gaming, hotel, and food service industries in North America. / @Culinary226 

[1] In 2018, Red Rock Resorts reported $508 million in adjusted EBITDA—a measure of profitability. Red Rock Resorts, Inc., “SEC Form 10-K,” filed on February 26, 2019, p. 49.

[2] Gabby Hart, “Palace Station celebrates grand re-opening after $192 million in renovations,” KSNV, September 1, 2018,

[3] Howard Stutz, “Palms GM out as concern over Las Vegas casino’s $690M redevelopment percolates,” CDC Gaming Reports, October 2, 2019,

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