The hospitality industry is huge, and as such, it employs millions of people. It is highly regulated in order to ensure the safety of both the staff and consumers.
There are a number of sectors within the hospitality industry. These subsections within the hospitality industry can lead to some potential hazards and health and safety concerns, especially for staff who aren’t trained properly to deal with them.
Think of the people working in the engineering department of a hotel or the housekeeping professionals dealing with chemicals. Then there are bar professionals who need to deal with drunk customers at times. Kitchen assistants and chefs are vulnerable to slips and trips within the kitchen area. And the list goes on.
Also, the Cruise and Aviation sector of the hospitality industry has its own set of potential safety concerns.
Read on for more information.
The Potential Health and Safety Issues
For the most part, the health and safety issues stem from one thing: the consumption of alcohol. Obviously, not all hospitality businesses will serve alcohol on the premises, which can mitigate a lot of health and safety issues. For these businesses, the health and safety issues are often limited to the preparation and serving of food as well as any hazards presented by the premises.
Now, for premises that do serve alcohol, in addition to the above-mentioned health and safety issues, there are a lot of other potential hazards or risks to contend with. Those under the influence of alcohol are unpredictable, and unfortunately, lowering inhibitions often suspends social niceties, making violence much more common.
Small incidents can quickly spiral if not nipped in the bud. The violence may be directed toward other consumers or towards your staff. Physical and verbal abuse is, unfortunately, common, which is why a zero-tolerance policy is crucial to dealing with these incidents.
Taking the Right Precautions
In order to keep your staff safe, there are precautions and preventative measures that should be taken.
But, again, the measures will depend on the risks that your staff and other consumers face. Businesses are required to carry out risk assessments on their premises and address those risks.
For example, low doorways or steps and stairs need to be properly marked. Safety warnings for different pieces of equipment need to be displayed, and the proper care is taken when storing, preparing and serving food.
The likelihood is that there will be safeguarding measures put in place by the terms of your licence, too, which will obviously need to be adhered to ensure legal compliance.
After that, there are other measures that simply make sense, like a CCTV system which can alert management and security personnel to any issues as they arise.
Thinking about the hours of operation also makes sense; the later the business is open till the likelihood of issues increases.
Finally, properly trained staff is also paramount to their own safety as well as the safety of the consumers and even the premises itself. The hospitality industry at times doesn’t focus enough on training staff and this can lead to trouble.
Having a security team in place is crucial. They can monitor who is coming in and make sure that the premises is not over capacity.
In addition, bar workers need to be trained properly to spot the signs of drug use or over intoxication; these people shouldn’t be served and may pose a danger to others inside the venue.
Working out how to deliver this training might feel a little overwhelming, but luckily, the internet is a great resource. For example, iHasco has a huge range of health and safety courses, some of which are specifically geared to the hospitality industry. Remember to host regular refresher courses too.
Training is crucial to alleviate concerns about health and safety within the hospitality industry.
To Sum Up
There is a certain level of unpredictability that comes with working closely with the general public, and this unpredictability is heightened when mind-altering substances like alcohol are involved. Your profits rely on both your consumers and your workers feeling safe, comfortable and having fun which is why your health and safety processes are important.