Hospitality employees on the frontlines of hotels, casinos and other venues face a wide range of safety hazards and security risks from violence and sexual assault, to airborne pathogens and viruses, to slips, trips and falls.
Additional risks for hotel workers include:
- Mental health/burnout
- Chemical and biological hazard exposure
- Musculoskeletal injuries
Because the security and safety hazards for hospitality workers are so diverse, physical security leaders within the organization need to protect frontline staff with a proactive, comprehensive approach to their well-being.
It starts, with culture.
Safety culture and network
Creating, promoting and practicing a culture of security and safety where breaks are encouraged and staff aren’t afraid to speak up about safety concerns and issues is paramount.
In addition, by providing safety-related training workshops or even casual conversations and online hangouts, a security leader can encourage team members to respect each other and watch out for each other. Such opportunities also improve communication and collaboration between security guards and frontline staff who tend to work alone.
Part of safety and security culture is also properly educating team members on the security and safety policies in place, as well as how these rules and practices benefit and protect them. It can be a challenge to encourage people to read a 15-page PDF on winter safety protocols, but it can be done through engaging activities such as short training sessions, workshops or townhall discussions.
And it doesn’t end there, ideally security leaders conduct regular security and safety assessments to update any potential risks and change necessary response plans, protocols and procedures.
Worker safety technology and PPE
Another simple, yet important way to promote a culture of security and security among hospitality staff is to have solutions as simple as panic button devices to call when help is needed.
In September 2018, for example, the American Hotel and Lodging Association (members from 20,000 hotels) passed its 5-Star Promise. This promise is “a pledge to provide hotel employees across the U.S. with employee safety devices (ESDs) and commit to enhanced policies, trainings, and resources that together are aimed at enhancing hotel safety, including preventing and responding to sexual harassment and assault.”
In addition to panic buttons, there are a number of automated check-in platforms in which employees can check in or out with an assigned monitor before and after their shift. Check-ins can be performed manually or using cloud-based automated systems.
By building and leveraging a strong safety culture as well as available technologies, hotels can be safe places for everyone where their well-being is a top priority.