While many hotel and resort managers are searching for ways to cut costs, one aspect of business that operators cannot afford to disregard is employee safety.
Although local and state laws require companies to “provide panic buttons to all employees working in guestrooms or bathrooms without other employees present,” it seems there are few swift penalties for non-compliance.
As a result, some operators continue to delay implementing employee safety procedures and installing employee safety devices (“ESD”). While some might argue that it is a wise financial decision, there are several ways in which it might damage business operations.
At a time when hotels and resorts have to pay higher salaries and offer greater benefits to fill vacancies, a delay in installing ESD, for example, could make workers believe that management doesn’t care about their security and well-being. This could lead them to look for work elsewhere. And managers cannot afford to take the chance of losing any more staff.
Moreover, resorts and hotels that are part of a major hospitality franchise may fail their quality inspection due to non-compliance. Finally, the property owner or manager may be liable if a staff incident occurs. Evidence produced by panic buttons can stand up in court. More on this is below.
Instead of concentrating on the drawbacks, let’s first examine how resorts and hotels can keep their employees safe.
Here are a few simple measures that hotels and resorts can implement for employee safety:
- Train Employees: Train employees on identifying potential safety hazards, what to do in an emergency, and how to handle violent or aggressive guests. Regular training sessions can help employees stay alert and prepared to handle any situation that may arise.
- Implement Safety Protocols: Develop and enforce safety protocols that cover all aspects of hotel operations, including room cleaning, maintenance, and food service. Make sure that all employees are aware of the protocols and understand the importance of following them.
- Install Security Cameras: Install security cameras throughout the hotel, especially in areas prone to theft or other security risks. The presence of cameras can deter criminal activity and provide valuable evidence in the event of an incident.
- Encourage Communication: Encourage employees to immediately report any safety concerns or incidents to their supervisors or hotel management. Create a culture where employees feel comfortable speaking up and reporting potential safety hazards.
- Background Checks: Conduct thorough background checks on all employees before hiring them to ensure they have a clean criminal record and are qualified for the position.
Of course, providing safety devices and equipment such as personal protective equipment, first aid kits, and emergency alarms is the best way to ensure safety on the job. However, managers must ensure that employees know how to use the equipment and that it is easily accessible.
Here are some examples of employee safety devices:
- Panic Buttons: These small, portable devices can be carried by employees and used to summon help quickly in an emergency or threat. Some panic buttons are integrated with hotel security systems and alert management and security personnel when an employee is in danger.
- Wireless Communication Devices: These devices allow employees to communicate with each other and hotel management in real-time, making coordinating responses to emergencies and other safety concerns easier.
- Personal Alarms: When activated, these small devices emit a loud, attention-grabbing noise, which can alert others to a potential safety threat.
- First Aid Kits: These kits contain essential supplies for treating minor injuries and illnesses that employees may encounter.
- Fire Extinguishers: Fire extinguishers should be located throughout the hotel, including in employee areas, and employees should be trained to use them.
- Protective Equipment: Depending on the nature of the job, employees may require personal protective equipment such as gloves, goggles, or hard hats.
By providing these and other safety devices and equipment, hotels can help ensure the safety of their employees and create a culture of safety and security in the workplace.
And the benefits of providing employee safety devices are numerous.
Here are some of the main advantages of investing in employee safety devices:
- Employee Protection: The primary benefit of employee safety devices is the protection they provide to hotel staff. These devices can help employees feel safer and more confident, increasing job satisfaction and productivity.
- Improved Response Time: Safety devices such as panic buttons and wireless communication devices can help employees quickly summon help in the event of an emergency or safety threat. This can improve response times and help prevent serious incidents from escalating.
- Reduced Liability: By providing safety devices and equipment, hotels can demonstrate that they are taking steps to ensure the safety of their employees. This can help reduce the risk of liability in an incident or accident.
- Enhanced Guest Safety: When hotel employees feel safe and secure on the job, they can better provide high-quality service to guests. This can lead to improved guest satisfaction and loyalty.
- Regulatory Compliance: In some jurisdictions, hotels are legally required to provide specific safety devices and equipment to their employees. Compliance with these regulations can help avoid fines and penalties.
- Positive Brand Image: Hotels can establish a reputation as responsible and ethical employers by prioritizing employee safety. This can help attract and retain top talent and enhance the brand’s image.
Overall, providing hotel employee safety devices is a wise investment that can benefit both employees and the hotel. By implementing these measures and prioritizing employee safety, hotels and resorts can create a safe and secure environment for their employees and guests.
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