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Health and Safety Issues in Hotels

Keeping Employees Safe. Health and Safety Issues in Hotels - any successful hotel business will see a constant stream of guests arrive and depart. Hopefully all will have had an enjoyable stay at your premises and will leave without any accidents or injuries befalling them. It’s fair for customers to expect that whilst staying at your hotel establishment, they will well looked after, both themselves and their personal possessions. However as well as guests staying with you, the hotelier also has a responsibility to ensure that the premises are safe for employees to carry out their duties. Running a hotel can be quite hectic for both the proprietor and staff, often tasks have to be carried out in a hurry, particularly if the hotel offers catering. When under pressure and in a hurry, mistakes can all too easily happen, things can be overlooked and this may lead to a accident. Certainly, a hotel proprietor has to keep in force at all time Employers Liability hotel insurance. This is a provision of the 1969 Employers Liability Protection Act which was designed to make employers purchase insurance to protect employees against accidents for which they were legally liable.( negligence must be proved) However, incidents can still happen which are not the fault of the proprietor, accidents at work can cause a good deal of distress and inconvenience and are best avoided if at all possible.

The simplest way to ensure that persons are kept safe on your premises is to carry out a risk assessment of the premises, by carrying out a risk assessment you will be taking an important step towards protecting your employees as well as complying with all relevant laws. Risk assessments will help you, as a business owner focus on the risks associated with your premises and you will be able to identify anything of a serious nature that could really cause harm to an individual. Injuries, to key members of staff can effect the smooth running of any operation, particularly if they re unable to work for a period of time. In many cases, after a tour of your premises, some measures can be implemented immediately. Slips and trips remain the single most common cause of major injury in UK workplaces and if your hotel provides catering, there is a good chance that food will be spilled on floors in the preparation area, simply introducing a rule that all spillages must be cleared up immediately will significantly reduce the chances of any accident happening. A further rule stating that all drawers must be closed immediately after usage can help prevent trips, closing cupboard doors can also help stop someone receiving a nasty bang on the head. These are free, simple to implement rules which you can easily have typed up and laminated to provide information to your workforce. There are plenty of companies that will also provide a variety of warning signs and stickers that can be purchased for use on your premises. The law does not expect you to eliminate all risk from your hotel, this would be impossible, but you will be expected to take all reasonable steps to ensure that your work force are kept safe, you are legally required to assess the risks in your workplace. All plans should start with an initial risk assessment.

What is risk assessment for hotel safety

A risk assessment at your hotel establishment, is quite simply, carrying out a detailed and thorough review of your business in an effort to identify those areas and operations that could lead to causing serious harm to an employee. Once completed you will be able to consider if you have taken appropriate steps to ensure the chances of injury are minimised or whether your need to take extra steps to help prevent an accident happening. A lot of risk management, comes down to staff training, making sure your employees know what they are doing and how to do it, procedures are put in to place to keep everyone safe. Trained staff are more able to carry out tasks safely and efficiently, even the simplest of tasks should be explained fully to all employees and training logs should be kept, in the event of an insurance claim, it is not unknown for the insurance company to ask for proof that the member of staff were trained to do what they were doing at the time the incident occurred. A simple plan for a hotel would be as follows

  1. Try to identify all the possible hazards.
  2. Decide which members of staff may be harmed.
  3. Evaluate the risk and calculate what precautions you need to take.
  4. Write down your findings and implement a plan of action.
  5. Make regular reviews of your findings

If you run a small hotel, you can probably carry out the assessment yourself as most of the hazards will be fairly obvious and the staff and their duties will be known to you. if you run a larger hotel, you may need the help of a health & safety expert to carry out the assessment for you. Involving the hotel staff in the decision making process is vital, they will have excellent first hand knowledge of the risks they face in their day to day tasks and will probably also appreciate being asked for their input. A couple of points to remember, a hazard can be anything that is potentially dangerous, this could include chemicals, cleaning items, a wet floor etc etc, the risk is the chance, be it high or low that a member of the hotel staff could be injured by one of these hazards. So simply walk around your premises and ask questions, this will help you identify any key areas of concern Once you have identified the hazards, you can then identify which of your members of staff are at risk, they may need extra training to help reduce the chances of an accident. Once you have spotted the hazards,, you then have to decide what to do about them. The law requires you to do everything ‘reasonably practicable’ to protect people from harm. It possible to do this yourself using common sense, buts it’s probably better to obtain some best practice guides and these can usually be found on line or from a trade association. Remember, that any action you take and your risk plan should be written down and used, update it on a regular basis, it can be a tool to keep you within the law and to help keep all employees safe.

For help and advice on Hotel Insurance contact Assetsure.

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