Hospitality is a vital part of the Rhode Island economy, and each type of business poses safety risks. It is important to be aware of the hazards to keep your employees safe. Every restaurant, hotel, and catering company should have a safety program to include training for employees on procedures to prevent injuries like as a result of slips and falls, exposure to harmful substances, repetitive motion, and strains and sprains from handling materials. Hospitality companies should also practice fire safety by installing the proper equipment, training employees, and implementing fire safety procedures. This article will explore ten tips for hospitality industry safety.
Here are ten tips to help prevent employee injuries in the Hospitality business:
1. Inform Supervisors of Unsafe Conditions
- If you see something that could possibly injure you or one of your co-workers, speak up. Your supervisor is responsible for taking action to reduce the risk of injury at your worksite.
2. Slips and Falls
- Keep floors clean and dry. In addition to being a slip hazard, continually wet surfaces promote the growth of mold, fungi, and bacteria, which can cause infections.
- Clean up spills immediately. This includes water, grease, food, and oil.
- Provide warning signs on wet floors.
- Wear proper footwear to include slip-resistant soles.
- Use matting in wet areas to avoid slip and falls.
- Ensure drainage is sufficient and working properly in wet areas.
3. Fire Safety
- Every employer should have and maintain an emergency action plan, fire prevention plan, and train employees accordingly.
- Keep flammable objects away from open flames.
- Know the location of all power sources which may need to be turned off in case of emergency.
4. Keep Work Areas and Emergency Exits Clear
- An emergency evacuation plan should be developed and all employees trained. The “Manager on Duty” (MOD) should know who is working and have a list of employees working in the facility each day.
- Make sure to keep work areas and emergency exits clear. A cluttered work area can be dangerous.
- In the event of a fire or other emergency, a meeting place or place should be assigned away from the front of the building and away from fire equipment.
- The MOD should ensure that all employees have been accounted for and are safely outside the building. All employees should be trained for evacuation.
5. Hazardous Materials
- Employers are required to have a written Hazard Communication Program (HCP) if their employees may be exposed to hazardous chemicals. Each day millions of workers are potentially exposed to any number of chemical hazards causing serious health problems or even death. All workers need to be trained to recognize potential chemical hazards and use proper protective equipment and protocols. Download Hazardous Communications Program Safety Alert from the Safety Library.
- Maintain a current list of chemicals.
- Maintain current Safety Data Sheets (SDS).
- Read and follow recommendations on SDSs.
- Store hazardous materials in appropriate containers and in appropriate areas.
- Follow recommendations for protection from hazards.
- Make sure engineering controls, such as ventilation, are clean and working properly.
- Ensure that personal protective equipment (PPE) issued to employees meets OSHA guidelines for protection. PPE users should receive training on use, maintenance, storage, end-of-life indicators, and how to obtain replacements.
6. Prevent Falling Objects
- Use protections like toe boards, toe rails, and nets to prevent objects from falling.
- Stack boxes neatly and place heavier objects on lower shelves. Keep stacked boxes and objects out of the way of aisles and work areas.
7. Material Handling
- Many employees work in a fast-paced and sometimes dangerous environment. Not the least of those dangers is the risk of back injury. The amount of strain placed on the muscles and discs of your back is directly related to handling techniques that you use every day. Learn about Beacon's Material Handler Program and request the Lifting Techniques Poster from the Safety Library.
- To avoid back injury, follow these healthy back tips:
- Warm up prior to your work shift and periodically during your shift
- Maintain a healthy lower back posture by keeping the head up and back arched
- Pivot your feet instead of twisting your back. Move your feet
- Use a staggered stance (feet slightly wider than shoulder-width) with knees bent to take advantage of the strong leg muscles
- Move smoothly. Avoid quick and jerky movements
- Keep loads close to your body
- Do not work beyond your capacity
- Use proper assistive devices
8. Take Regular Breaks
- Many work-related injuries occur when an employee is tired or stressed. Extended or unusual work shifts may be more stressful physically, mentally, and emotionally. Non-traditional shifts and extended work hours may disrupt the body's regular schedule, leading to increased fatigue, stress, and lack of concentration. These effects lead to an increased risk of operator error, injuries, and/or accidents. Read more about Extended Unusual Work Shifts from OSHA.gov.
9. Maintain and Use Equipment Properly
- Make sure that you are using each piece of equipment the way it was intended and that it is in proper condition. Regularly inspect and clean equipment to ensure that it is safe for use.
- Download resources from Beacon's Safety Library.
10. Powered Industrial Trucks
- Many employees are injured when lift trucks are inadvertently driven off loading docks, or lifts fall between docks and unsecured trailers. Employees are also struck by lift trucks, or fall while on elevated pallets. Download the Powered Industrial Trucks Safety Alert from the Safety Library.
Watch to learn how we're partnering with Newport Restaurant Group:
We partner with Newport Restaurant Group to help keep their employees safe in the areas of glass polishing, knife safety, and seasonal training. We also helped Newport Restaurant Group form a safety committee to help uncover and address safety issues as a team.
Our relationship with Newport Restaurant Group reflects the very best ways we collaborate with Rhode Island businesses. They have embraced employee safety and rely on Beacon’s expertise to enable them to continue reaching new levels. Together, Beacon Mutual and Newport Restaurant Group have put time and effort into various initiatives that have had significant results.
Let Us Help You Too - Beacon's Safety Experts Are Here To Help!
- Register for our upcoming Hospitality Industry Safety Webinar on June 14 at 10 am.
- Beacon's Loss Prevention Team is available to help you improve your workplace safety program. Contact us to schedule a safety consultation!
Ready To Learn How We Can Partner With You...
For 30 years, Beacon has been proud to provide workers' compensation insurance to the majority of restaurants, bars, hotels, and eateries in Rhode Island. We understand the industry and the challenges your hospitality company faces, and we're here to support you and your employees.