Creating a safe work environment is crucial for all businesses, no matter what sector they operate in. Promoting safety in the hotel industry is critical as hotel staff are 40% more likely to be injured on the job than other service workers.
Generally speaking, the task of creating a safe work environment starts with hotel management. Promoting policies and security measures that put staff members first will allow them to carry out their jobs in a safe environment and feel protected when they’re at work. Recognizing staff as key assets and treating them as such can significantly improve the efficacy of your hotel while streamlining operations and improving guest experience.
To help you keep your housekeeping staff, desk personnel and other employees safe, we’ve put together a few of the most essential hotel safety tips that can be easily implemented in any environment.
What is Hotel Safety?
Hotel safety is essentially a series of measures and protocols put in place by hoteliers and hotel management in order to protect hotel staff and guests. Hotel safety can involve anything from installing slip-resistant flooring, creating an effective evacuation plan to providing regular safety training, as well as issuing staff with wearable panic buttons. In most cases, the more steps that are taken to protect hotel workers, the safer and more valued staff will feel.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, hotel safety has also included an increased emphasis on hygiene measures. Masks are now a standard part of the uniform for most front desk staff, housekeepers, and hotel security. Cleaners in particular have to take extra precautions to ensure that hotel rooms are fully sterilized, and that they’re protected.
What are the Safety and Security Measures Taken in a Hotel?
General safety measures taken in hotels vary from premises to premises. However, all hotels should have a number of core protections in place in order to keep staff safe and comply with local and national regulations.
For example, all hotels and motels are required to be fire safe. These fire safe measures help both hotel guests and employees to get out of the building quickly and easily if a fire is detected.
COVID-19 has also forced hotels to update workplace safety guidelines. The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) has recently brought out an enhanced set of cleaning and safety guidelines in response to COVID-19. It’s expected that most hotel chains and independent premises will adopt these measures over the coming months in order to ensure staff and guest safety.
An increasing number of hotels are also introducing panic buttons and other employee safety devices (ESDs). These devices can help employees to alert colleagues if they get into difficulty during their shift. This is incredibly important in the hotel industry as around 88% of hotel housekeepers are women, and research shows that around 58% of these employees have experienced some form of sexual harassment when at work.
The introduction of ESDs was stepped up in 2018 when the AHLA partnered with hotels to introduce the 5-star promise, of which ROAR for Good is a Sponsor. In 2020, a number of cities made ESDs a mandatory requirement, and local ordinances are already in place are Washington, New Jersey, Illinois and parts of California.
What are Some Safety Tips to Remember on the Job?
While the main responsibility for promoting workplace safety should lie with the hotel owners and managers, there are steps that employees can take to help protect themselves when they’re at work. Here are some of the most important.
1. Carry Out Regular Safety Training
Most large hotel chains, like the Marriott, run regular staff safety training sessions. These sessions help to keep employees up to date on the latest rules and regulations designed to keep them safe at work. Sessions can also provide opportunities for staff to speak up about incidences that have made them feel unsafe and suggest ways to improve workplace safety in the future.
2. Wear a Panic Button
Panic buttons, or employee safety devices, can be incredibly useful in hotel settings. Issuing panic buttons to housekeeping staff allows them to immediately alert colleagues if they get into difficulty. Staff can also use the panic button to attract help if they suffer serious injury while working, see a guest who requires assistance, or spot a tense or dangerous situation that needs immediate resolution.
3. Notify Colleagues of Your Location
When working in large hotels, it’s important that housekeeping staff keep colleagues and managers updated on their location. Telling someone which hotel room you’re working in or which floor you’re on will ensure help gets to you as quickly as possible if there’s an incident. Of course, having a panic button will do this for you automatically.
4. Use Key Cards
Using key cards instead of room keys can help to minimize the amount of touch contact between guests and staff. This is increasingly important as more and more hotels implement measures to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of our training on ESD’s, we recommend Security or Managers that receive location alerts when it is triggered to be equipped with a universal key card for quick access when needed.
5. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
When working in guest rooms and communal spaces, it’s important for staff to be aware of their surroundings. Keeping a lookout for new faces and taking note of the room number of any guest that appears suspicious can help to minimize incidents and keep staff safe. Introducing CCTV can be another good way to help make staff feel safe and keep an eye on employees and guests using common areas and shared spaces.
Learn more about hotel employee safety, and find out how ROAR for Good’s AlwaysOn platform can help to protect your front desk, security, and housekeeping staff, by contacting a member of our team today.