If you’ve ever been on vacation or a business trip and enjoyed staying in a hotel with excellent service and amenities. Then you know how amazing that experience can be. But have you ever considered the safety of the people in that hotel who are waiting for you to make your experience unforgettable? And that safety you can get from our personal panic button.
From the concierge and bartender to housekeeping staff and lifeguards at the indoor pool, hotel workers committed to providing top-notch service. They will agree that this rewarding career path is also one filled with long hours and potential safety hazards.
While there are safety risks that are inherent in most jobs. The working in a hotel puts the employee at a greater risk for nonfatal injuries and illness. In fact, “hotel workers in the United States alone are 40% more likely to be injured at work than are service-sector workers in general.”
Below is a list of just some of the safety hazards that can lead to accidents and emergencies while on the job in a hotel:
Altercations with guests
Yes, most guests in a hotel are going to be a pleasure to wait on during their stay. However, hotel workers are sure to encounter a disgruntled guest at some point in their career. Some guests staying in a hotel might experience conflict with someone in their party. They then may take out their anger on an unsuspecting hotel worker. Still, other guests may become angry or even violent if they aren’t satisfied with the service or condition of the room. And if you add alcohol or drugs to the mix, a situation can quickly deteriorate.
No matter the reason, a hotel worker needs to be alert to any situation that may be escalating with a panic button. And know when it’s an appropriate time to end an interaction with an unstable, intoxicated, or hot-tempered guest.
Imagine working on the housekeeping staff of a major hotel chain. You’re lifting heavy king-sized beds constantly as you strip the sheets and bedding after a guest’s visit. Then you prepare the bed for the next person. These repetitive motions, as well as activities that involve bending and lifting, can lead to injury. The risk is even greater if the worker does not use proper form while performing these activities. For example, bending at the waist while lifting something heavy puts tremendous pressure on the back. This will be putting the worker at risk for back strain or other injuries.
Not Knowing the Plan
If a hotel worker is unaware of safety procedures, that person may fail to check a subcontractor’s identification or credentials. Worse, in a true emergency, the hotel worker may be unaware of evacuation routes or emergency procedures for any other crisis that may arise. And if the worker does not have a personal panic button, then he or she may not be able to alert emergency personnel that there is a problem.
To create a safer hotel environment for its workers, hoteliers can take the following common-sense steps:
Provide training to help employees develop positive interpersonal skills that they can use effectively with hotel guests. Likewise, teach employees the warning signs of a guest or situation that may be spiraling out of control. Helping workers navigate difficult personalities will definitely come in handy when encountering a hot-blooded guest. Having a plan to deal with these difficult situations is another proactive solution.
Encourage good form
Be sure that workers know how to use (and move) equipment safely and with good form. Preventive measures can go a long way in keeping workers safe. Allowing frequent breaks is an excellent way to give workers the rest they need between repetitive tasks. Those jobs that require heavy lifting or moving.
Provide top-notch security
Ensure that workers know the security and safety protocols that are in places. Those can be evacuation routes and lockdown procedures. In addition, workers can help create a safe environment by checking the identification of contractors and other visitors to the hotel. Wearing nametags helps identify in-house staff, as well as allowing others to quickly identify someone on the premises that does not belong there.
Working in teams means that there is always someone available to get help in an emergency situation. It’s also a great way to provide physical support for labor-intensive tasks. This is especially important when working in isolated or dark areas where danger could be lurking.
Provide personal panic buttons for hotel workers
The Silent Beacon is a personal panic button for hotel workers that they can easily carry to keep them safe at all times. Simply pair it with the free Silent Beacon app, and you’re set!
The Beacon’s lightweight design allows the wearer to slip it into a pocket or purse, attach to a lanyard, or clip on a keychain. With the push of a button, the user can quickly contact emergency personnel and loved ones without the need to log into a mobile device or call 911. When the device is activated, it sends the wearer’s GPS location to all contacts instantly.
The Two-way communication, a rechargeable battery, silent alert mode, a water-resistant design, and live tracking are just a sample of the features this life-saving device offers its wearers.
While it may be impossible to avoid every possible emergency, even for the most prepared employee, carrying the Silent Beacon is an important step to ensure that all hotel workers receive the help they need, no matter what happens on the job.
1Safety and Health Magazine, 19 December 2015, https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/13370-keeping-hotel-housekeepers-safe
2 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, cited in Susan Buchanan, et al., Occupational injury disparities in the US hotel industry, 53 AM.J. IND. MED. 116 (2010), http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ajim.20724/abstract
3 Hotel Management, 15 July 2017, https://www.hotelmanagement.net/operate/how-hotels-are-keeping-employees-healthy-and-safe
4 State Compensation Insurance Fund, “Hotel Worker Safety,” https://content.statefundca.com/safety/safetymeeting/SafetyMeetingArticle.aspx?ArticleID=396