Health and Safety for Self and others in the Hotel and Hospitality Industry

Many of the employees in the hotel and hospitality industry are viewed as vulnerable as they work over the weekends and at night. Employers in this sector have the ultimate responsibility and duty of care. The employers should make occupational health and safety as part of their organisational culture. Ross and Pryce, authors, confirm that approximately 2900 work-related deaths and 650, 000 work-related injuries are reported in Australia every year (154). The deaths and injuries account for more than 34 billion dollars economic losses every year. Accidents, illnesses and injuries resulting from workplace incidences can trigger great mental and physical suffering. In this regard, both employers and employees require gaining knowledge and skills in workplace health and safety processes in order to protect their own health and that of others.

Importance of Following Safety Procedures and Instructions

It is critical to follow safety procedures and instructions when conducting work. Safe work procedures and processes prevent workers from work-related deaths and work-related injuries. Following safety instructions and procedures allow employees to be aware of the risks involved in their tasks and help them in avoiding illnesses and injuries that may result from doing those tasks. Evidently, safety procedures and instructions records the dangers linked to a task and list the suitable risk control measures. Therefore, following these procedures and instructions helps in preventing work-related deaths and injuries.

Significance of Prestart Systems and Equipment Checks

The work in the hotel and hospitality industry is demanding and hectic. Statistics show that there are an increased number of injuries in the hospitality industry (Ross & Pryce 154). Most of these injuries can be prevented through pre start systems and equipment checks. Performing pre start systems and equipment checks prevent self-injuries and injuries to others. In the hospitality industry, prestart systems and equipment checks ensures that equipments such as vacuum cleaners, washing machines and dryers, slicers, mincers and other machineries are not damaged. This reduces accidents in the kitchens, floors and other working areas

Workplace Procedures for Responding to Emergency Incidents

Responding effectively to safety and health incidents in a workplace is paramount. Organisations place workplace procedures for responding to emergency incidents in open places when workers can access them. Particularly, the hospitality industry put warning signs on main entrances, inside the rooms and in the kitchens where most accidents occur. For instance, fire is a potential hazard in the hospitality industry. As a result, firms place conspicuous warning signs, control systems, alarms and safety procedures for responding to fire incidences such as evacuation on walls and major entrances to different sections and units. Burns are commonplace in the hospitality industry particularly for employees tasked with food preparation. In this regard, procedures on how employees should respond to such accidents should be mounted at convenient places where employees can access and read them.

Designated Persons or Reporting Safety Concerns

Although employers hold the ultimate responsibility and duty of care to their employees, Human Resource Managers in the hospitality industry are tasked with promoting occupational health and safety. Therefore, human resource managers are some of the designated persons for reporting queries and concerns about safety in the workplace. Safety and health concerns can also be reported to supervisors and security personnel. Incidences of fire can be reported to fire safety directors. Workers can also report queries and concerns about health and safety concerns to independent consultants hired by the firms and security service providers.

Procedures and Reasons for Identifying Existing and Potential Hazards

Work-related deaths and injuries occur because of unsafe conditions and acts. These acts take place when workers are unaware of the hazards and safe work practices. Workers should indentify existing and potential hazards in the workplace and report them to the concerned people. Identification of existing and potential hazards and taking suitable preventive measures helps in preventing work-related diseases and accidents. In the hospitality industry, workers identify hazards through reviewing their non-routine and routine activities. The identification should be performed periodically and when there is a change in equipment or process (Ross & Pryce 154). The procedure includes selection of the equipment and activities to be assessed, identification of the involved hazards, evaluating the hazards and the involved risks, implementations of measures to control the hazards and finally evaluation of the effectiveness of control measures and documentation of findings. The identified hazards should be well recorded and reported to the concerned persons. The procedures of identifying hazards should be integrated into the standard operating processes and procedures for workers to follow.

Procedure for Identifying and Reporting Emergency Incidents and Injuries

Any incident report should be completed any moment an injury is noted regardless of its severity. Workers who witness the incident are responsible for completing an official incident report. In the hospitality industry, there are specific procedures that workers should follow in order to report occupational injuries and other emergency incidents effectively. The incidents should be reported to the supervisors in person or via phone call or sometimes raising alarms. The supervisor then completes a formal incident report and if there are injuries, the involved person is taken to the company’s medical unit. Serious illness or injuries that are fatal should be reported immediately to the local emergency response medical services. In case of fire, the involved party is required to immediately report to emergency response service such as the police and fire unit in the area. All near-miss incidents must also not go unreported. In fact, a report on such incidents should be done within 24 hours with the reporting person indicating the prevented damage or injury.

Health and Safety Duty Holders in the Workplace

The health and safety duty holders in the hotel and hospitality industry are employers, employees and supervisors. However, safety personnel are appointed to advise the management on all occupational safety and health matters. The safety personnel aid in the execution of safety and health programmes (Ross & Pryce 154). The employers have a duty to guarantee the health and safety of their workers and are required to take lead in enhancing health and safety in the workplace. The employers should correct any workplace conditions that are deemed as hazardous to the safety and health of employees. The employers are required to inform workers about hazards in the workplace; and how employees should protect themselves. They should develop an occupational safety and health program and offer protective devices, clothing and equipments. The employers should also ensure that employees receive effective training and supervision on health and safety measures to comprehend the health and safety measures. Workers, on the other hand, are required to take practical care to protect their health and safety as well as that of other workers. They required to follow the developed safe work procedures and use any needed personal protective equipment. They should report any hazards to their supervisors. The supervisors ensure that safety and health of their subordinates is provided and maintained. They inform workers about all hazards in the workplace and ensure that workers comply with the all the health and safety requirements. While the employers establish and implement safety and health programs, employees take the role of following instructions, reporting incidents and injuries and suggesting ways to enhance their safety and health. The employers provide welfare facilities and safety equipments, and take record of health and safety programme.

Reasons why Employees Should Contribute to Workplace Meetings and Inspections

Employees need to contribute to workplace meetings, inspections or other health and safety consultative activities because they are also responsible for their own health and safety. The employees need to gain skills in handling health and safety issues and propose ways that can improve their health and safety in their workplaces. It is important that employees understand ways to eliminate or minimise hazards as they are directly affected by these hazards.

How to Raise Health and Safety Issues

With regard to raising health and safety issues with designated persons in the hotel industry, employees can raise these issues during training programs and group meetings. Urgent concerns relating to health and safety in the workplace are channelled through written reports or phone calls to the designated people.

How to Eliminate Workplace Hazards and to Reduce risks

Hazards in the workplace can be eliminated or reduced through effective control of hazards and development of a safety plan. Regular inspection of the tools and equipment and adequate training is conducted to reduce or eliminate risks. Employers in the hospitality industry develop a culture of open communication through promoting regular meetings aimed at discussing safety and health issues. Employers in this industry encourage employees to share their thoughts and concepts on how to promote safety in the workplace. Incidents and accidents are thoroughly investigated to prevent them from recurring. Equipments and processes are modified with safe work procedures developed and implemented. Proper orientations and supervision is provided to employees. The employers and supervisors also make sure that employees adhere to health and safety procedures and use suitable personal protective gears.

Work Cited

Ross, D and Pryce, J, Human resources and tourism: skills, culture and industry, UK: Channel View Publications, 2010.