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Health and safety protocols in the hospitality industry

3 May, 2022

Did you know that the total costs of accidents in the workplace are close to 4% of the Global Domestic Product (GDP)? Because of ineffective Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) protocols, the global economy spends more than $3 trillion to cover workplace hazards injuries. The hospitality industry has a potential for multiple hazards, and hoteliers are constantly looking for ways to mitigate risks from various sources. Hoteliers are ethically and legally obliged to protect the health and safety of their guests and staff by creating effective protocols to protect their welfare.

What are the health and safety protocols in hotels?

Your hotel’s success is closely interlinked with the safety and health protocols you have put in place to protect your staff and guests. A reputation of recurring multiple accidents can affect your employees’ turnover and reduce your guests’ bookings. 

As a hotelier, coming up with sustainable health and safety protocols to mitigate health and safety risks can mitigate your losses and protect people in the event of an accident. 

Health and safety protocols are actionable steps hoteliers can use to protect staff and guests in the hotel. Health and safety protocols involve:

  • Documenting hazards in the hotel environment.
  • Communicating the potential hazards to all stakeholders.
  • Implementing training procedures to mitigate the risks.
  • Adapting an actionable plan for emergencies.

What are the common health and safety hazards in the hospitality industry?

While the hospitality industry is a highly lucrative enterprise for hoteliers, it comes with a myriad of challenges in terms of protecting the health and safety of guests and staff. Standard health and safety hazards in the hospitality industry include:

  • Fire and electrical shock hazards
  • Slip Slips and falls
  • Food safety

Why are health and safety important in hospitality?

1) It helps to reduce staff turnover

The hospitality industry has a high turnover rate mainly because jobs are seasonal and attract a younger demographic that later moves on to other industries as they gain experience. Another reason for the high turnover may be the daily health and safety hazards employees are exposed to. As a hotelier, you can reduce the high turnover rate by minimising job risks by conducting regular safety training.

2) Develop a reputation for quality customer service

If your hotel develops a reputation for providing quality customer service, safety, and sanitation, you can easily attract new customers while maintaining the existing ones. Hotels are operating in a digital era where a bad review on your company site or social media about your food, bad sanitation, or inadequate safety measures for the guests can significantly reduce your hotel’s bookings.

3) Increase profits

Incorporating effective health and safety protocols can help attract new customers, which increases your revenues.

4) Minimise loss

Health and safety protocols can help your hotel minimise risky events that may result in lawsuits. Hazards such as fire, slips, falls, and exposure to excessive heat or cold can cause loss of valuable property, mental and physical trauma, and death of your staff and guests. Incorporating safety protocols such as fire drills and first aid as part of your operations can significantly reduce the impact of risky events.

How are the hotels providing safety to their guests?

With proper planning, you can provide adequate safety measures for guests to experience a frictionless time while in your hotel. As a hotelier, you can provide adequate safety measures by:

  • Training staff

To prevent injuries caused by spillages, fire, food contamination, chemicals, and unattended objects, you can conduct departmental training to address various hazards in each hotel area.

  • Communicating with guests

Have a medium to constantly update your guests about potential hazards, operations changes, and emergency plans updates.

  • Creating a guest occupational safety committee

You can create a safety committee that regularly addresses deficiencies in the hotel’s safety protocols.

Who has responsibilities for health and safety in the hotel?

Every stakeholder in the hotel industry has a role to play in protecting the health and safety of staff and guests at the hotel. Key stakeholders may include:

1) Hotel managers

As a hotel manager, you can protect the welfare of your staff and employees by:

  • Conduct regular employee training focussing on hazards in the hotel environment.
  • You can communicate to your guests and staff about the potential hazards in the hotel. You can put hazard posters, signs, or labels to warn people about potential risks they may be exposed to in different areas of the hotel.
  • Regulation and insurance compliance. Ensure that your hotel meets your country’s food, sanitation, and safety standards to minimise accidents.
  • Hire qualified personnel. Working with a trained staff significantly reduces human errors, which reduces accidents.

2) Employees

Hire employees that can cooperate with you to maintain health and safety protocols in the hotel. As a hotelier, communicate to your employees about their safety responsibilities, which may include:

  • Reporting hazards to management
  • Protecting the health and safety of guests and co-workers.
  • Ensuring they maintain good personal hygiene.

3) Guests

Hotel guests are responsible for following health and safety instructions, using equipment responsibly, and reporting any hazards to the staff.

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The hospitality industry, while lucrative, has the potential for many health and safety hazards that can affect a hotel’s performance by increasing employee turnover, reducing bookings, and resulting in costly litigations. One way to get it all under control is to use a PMS that will allow you to manage all daily operations in one place, and by adopting proper risk management protocols, hotel managers can protect the welfare of their guests and employees by reducing their exposure to potential hazards.

3 May, 2022