Anyone working in the hospitality industry understands the risks involved in this occupation. There could be fire breakouts, physical and/or verbal aggression from customers, or injuries caused by some equipment. Due to such risks, it is necessary for any organization conducting business in this industry to implement essential safety measures.
The following are some of the reasons why safety in the workplace is important in the hospitality industry.
1. Occupational Violence
If a job requires employees to meet clients, the workers may experience verbal or physical violence. There are many such cases in the hospitality industry among restaurant and hotel staff. Many have experienced threats of violence from customers, making them feel less safe at work. Through such experience, security personnel should be available to keep the staff safe. Also, the staff should receive training on how to handle violent clients.
2. Improper Handling or Lifting of Items
Threats will not always come from aggressive clients or other staff members. Some threats are invisible, but they could have equally dangerous outcomes. For example, a worker might need to lift something heavy like furniture, bulk deliveries, or luggage. If a staff member doesn’t know how to lift heavy items, they could strain their back and develop additional physical issues.
It’s your organization’s responsibility to provide proper training to all employees on heavy lifting. Also, any staff with injuries or health complications should never be put in a position to do the heavy lifting.
3. Slips and Falls
You know about signs like “wet floor” or “slippery floor” that must be placed when the floors are cleaned. These are essential to caution staff and customers are more careful when walking to avoid slipping. Also, food spillage or water leakages could make floors slippery, leading to accidents.
The best way to avoid this is by providing proper housekeeping and good lighting. Staff could also be encouraged to use appropriate footwear to reduce the risk of slipping and falling.
Creating a Safe Work Environment
Every employer’s goal should be to create a safe work environment. It’s impossible to stop accidents, but you can still minimize the risks of injury. The following measures can be put in place to enhance employee safety.
1. Hire Qualified Employees
Prioritize candidates who show an understanding of workplace safety. If you must select candidates with little to no safety knowledge, you’ll need to provide comprehensive training. By doing this, a safety-oriented culture is created.
2. Improve Security Measures
Having security personnel doesn’t mean your staff is completely safe. You can introduce hotel panic buttons for your staff. There are wearable panic buttons that will alert security in case of an emergency. These panic buttons will also indicate the location of the individual to allow security to react fast enough.
3. Limit Movement to Specific Areas
Another way to improve workplace safety is by limiting the areas customers and employees can access. For example, there should be areas that only employees have the clearance to access. You can inform your customers about restricted areas or indicate this using door signs.
4. Review Protocols and Plans
Health and safety at the workplace are everyone’s responsibility. There must be updates on protocols to ensure each member of your staff observes safety measures. Improve your emergency reaction plans so that employees understand what they must do in every situation.
Updated plans and protocols can be presented visibly as a reminder for employees and guests. For example, you can put printed instructions in elevators to explain what guests and staff should do in case of a fire.
You should also install visible exit signs directing everyone to safety during an emergency. Also, be clear where everyone should assemble during a fire emergency or any other incident.
5. Train Employees
Despite employees knowing safety risks and measures, it is essential to hold regular training. You can schedule a fire drill or any other drill that will allow employees to react as they would in a real emergency.
Workplace safety is critical and is the responsibility of every employee working for the organization. Ensure each member of your staff is well-informed of possible safety risks and how to react during such incidents. It’s also important to combine technology with training to improve security at the workplace.