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Work Health and Safety Blog

There's so much happening in the world of health & safety. Changes in legislation and requirements, changes in best practice, changes in ... you name it. Here's my take on making it simple. Simply Genius WHS - stop guessing... manage with confidence.

Don't be an ostrich - health and safety in hospitality is not that hard

Maralyn Kastel - Friday, September 13, 2013

Work health and safety in the hospitality industry covers a wide range of situations: restaurants, hotels, clubs, pubs and other places offering services or accommodation.

Some of the factors that lead to unsafe working conditions in the hospitality service industry as opposed to other industries occur because:

  • the industry is quickly affected by fluctuations in the economy and
  • the workforce is prone to a high degree of turnover.

What’s more, a large percentage of this workforce is comprised of younger, more inexperienced workers. As a result of these factors, frequent and effective health & safety training within the hospitality industry is critical in reducing vulnerability to the risk of injury, illness and even fatality.

Frequently the hospitality industry has to deal with constantly changing levels of workplace activity. In "down time" when there is not much going on, it can be difficult to maintain vigilance and safety standards can slip, particularly in the area of housekeeping.

In the hustle and bustle of meal times at restaurants, crowds of people swarming a motel, staff (especially young workers) can easily feel overwhelmed and forget some of the basic safety procedures unless:

  • health and safety procedures are constantly discussed in safety meetings or toolbox talks
  • workers are involved in managing health and safety (after all, safety is everyone’s responsibility – it’s not optional)

Train, and train your new and young workers some more….
Workers who are familiar with the health and safety procedures to follow and have acquired safe working habits are less likely to make careless mistakes.  Use role-play and constant practice to help young workers and those new to the industry gain experience in turning what they have learned into routine practice.

And don’t forget the experienced workers
Use safety posters and reminders and change them regularly.  Identify safety procedures that are commonly forgotten or that confuse your workers

Build up a body of knowledge in your workplace with experienced workers and document that knowledge.

Get your experienced workers to act as a “buddy” to new and young workers.

Always encourage involvement and consultation with workers so that you can continually improve your health and safety management; protect the reputation of your business; and most importantly have a health and safe workplace for your workers as well as your customers.

Don’t be an ostrich, health and safety compliance is not going away any day soon, so build your safety culture and not only with you be compliant with the Work Health & Safety legislation, but you’ll have a productive workplace where workers are engaged and involved in workplace health and safety.

Need more information? Call us 1300 768 019  We’re here to help.

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