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What Do You Need To Know About Hotel Health & Safety

Here in the UK, the hospitality industry ranks 4th largest, with over 3.2 million jobs through direct employment. For business owners in this sector, there is a wide range of unique demands when it comes to health and safety. Not only are you responsible for the well-being of your employees but you also need to manage the safety of guests, visitors and even contractors to your site. Necessary to the legal runnings of your business, hotel safety needs to be at the forefront of your priorities. This is why we have pulled together the following guide to help you identify the best means to keep everyone safe, happy and well during their stay.

The Importance of a Risk Assessment

To clearly understand what measures you need in place for the safety of employees and guests, a detailed risk assessment is vital. This process of evaluation allows you to identify, evaluate and implement measures to prioritise safety and health. It is an examination of all aspects of a hotel’s runnings and daily activity to identify what actions could cause harm, whether these risks can be eliminated or what preventative measures can be put into place.

While risk assessments form a vital part of all corporate health & safety, there is a unique demand for them in hotels. As well as considering those risks to employees (who can be trained and educated on how to prevent them), you also need to manage the hazards posed to guests. These temporary visitors will likely have limited knowledge of the runnings of your business or the unique procedures your management team have put into place. Therefore, the protective measures that you will need to implement as a result need to be less dependent on prior knowledge and more focused on providing clear, easy-to-digest and understandable directions.

To consider health and safety in a hotel, you must assess:

  • Fire Safety.
  • Housekeeping.
  • Catering Safety.

Fire Safety

Here in the UK, two main legislations cover fire safety in the workplace – The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. It requires you to keep your premises in line with the current standards and ensure that all employees are provided with adequate fire safety training. Hotels must carry out a fire risk assessment which ensures all necessary factors are taken into account, such as fire doors installed and used necessarily, trip hazards are minimised and appropriate measures are taken to eliminate hazardous situations.

Staff training is also vital when it comes to fire safety. All employees need to be made aware of how to identify and report fire risks. They should also have full training on where the existing fire escape routes are, where the nearest exit is and how to find the nearest assembly point. The Fire Safety Order in the UK states that there should be a responsible person in charge of fire safety compliance who may also act as the fire marshall during an evacuation. The right safety signs will help you to ensure that this evacuation route is clearly legible and understandable to all – employees and guests alike.

Consider the following fire safety signs:

  • Fire Extinguisher ID Signs – To identify which fire extinguisher is available and what type of fire it is safe to use it with.
  • Fire Action Signs – To provide information to passers-by as to what to do in the event of an emergency and what actions not to take.
  • Fire Equipment Signs – To direct individuals towards the array of fire safety equipment available at your hotel.
  • Fire Exit Signs – To help you visually create a safe and easy-to-follow evacuation route in the event of a fire.
  • Assembly Point Signs – To make it easy to identify the nearest assembly point, in the event of an emergency.
  • Fire Door Signs – To ensure fire doors are kept shut and not wedged open.
  • Refuge Point Signs – To help those who are less able identify where to wait in the event of a fire.
  • Door Safe Condition Signs – To help guests and employees know how to use a door safely.
  • Glow In The Dark Signs – To ensure fire information is available even in the event of a blackout or power cut.

The right fire safety sign for your hotel will depend on the information you’ve pulled from your risk assessment.

Housekeeping

Trip and slip hazards are some of the most common in workplaces here in the UK. And, this risk becomes heightened in hotels where there is high foot traffic. Constant deliveries, luggage from guests and movement from goods around the hotel can increase the risk of bad housekeeping – especially when instructions are not clearly given. Equally, consider the hazards posed by your kitchen or catering environment – spills and food soils can increase the slipping risk significantly too.

Good housekeeping is easy to maintain with both clear training and safety signs. You want to make sure that there are dedicated places for waste and refuge, and that employees follow these procedures exactly. Regular training will help to reinforce this message while good visual signs will make it easy to digest this information at all times.

For example, you may want to consider:

Again, the right housekeeping signs for your hotel will depend on the risk assessment findings.

Catering Safety

Restaurants and catering environments pose a host of hazards that can be particularly dangerous to your employees. There is an increased risk of slips and trips due to liquids, fire hazards related to machinery, chemical hazards from cleaning materials and burns from hot foods. Be cautious You also need to be aware of overcrowding which is an easy scenario to find yourself in when you account for everyone from the chefs through to individual waiters.

Alongside more continuous training, catering safety signs are an effective way to manage these risks without putting people at risk.

For example, consider signs such as:

Alongside these key points, it also pays to be aware of both car park safety and movement between floors (such as lift safety). At Lasting Impressions, we design and manufacture safety signs to suit all businesses, especially those within the hospitality industry. If you cannot find the sign you’re looking for, consider designing your own. Or, getting in contact with the team here to see if we can advise you in the right way too.