You might not be part of the latest spy film in which a villain pretends to be a hotel contractor, beats up the security guy, steals his uniform, hides behind a vase of passing flowers he stole, and breaks into a hotel room claiming to be room service in the efforts to catch the good guy by surprise, wielding a revolver, but hotel security and safety is vital for employees and guests alike. When a guest arrives at a hotel, they want to feel relieved and safe after a long day of airport travel, a business meeting, a holiday away, or a road trip.
The last thing a guest wants to have to consider is if the hotel is safe enough, or if someone nefarious can sneak in and hide behind the curtains. So, whether you’re taking measures to protect guest safety, or protect hotel employees from injury or harm, here are the fundamental hotel safety tips for employees.
Every single hotel employee should prioritise security, from the front desk personnel down to housekeeping, even to chefs in the kitchen. Make sure to check identifications, report any suspicious behaviour, and check identification of guests at the valet before handing over keys. If a person requests a new room key, make sure that the person you’re issuing a key to actually is the guest staying in the room. Never give out information on guests without authorisation, don’t give out phone numbers, and make sure that all details are protected at all times. Don’t trust people just because they are well-dressed either. Be friendly, but be wary of everyone - because that’s the best security practice. Be especially careful and extra vigilant at night. Make sure all entrances and exits are closely monitored. Make sure that unauthorised people - even guests - cannot access staff areas of the hotel, including the hotel kitchen.
All employees should have uniforms and name tags. Get to know those you work with, even if you don’t know their names, make sure you know their faces. If someone new starts, make sure you know that person. Anyone you do not recognise should be reported, even if it turns out to be a new starter you didn’t have a chance to meet yet. It’s better to recognise everyone who is in and out of the hotel than not to, which includes contractors and seasonal personnel too.
Check the credentials of any people who come on site for work, which includes any builders, florists, temporary catering staff, wedding venues, and so forth. Check IDs every time.
You may get to know the same people and see their faces over and over and that’s fine, but at least the first dozen or so times make sure you know who works for each company. If you see a new face, check credentials. It might not be a heist film, but it’s better to be safe.
Make sure that all employees understand the protocol and that those who come on site know it as well. Don’t have those two (or five) people who don’t check IDs, which may lead a contractor to say, “Well, the girl from Tuesdays always lets me through no problem.” Security should always be maximum.
Outside locks and room keys should be changed and updated regularly. It’s easier with electronic locks because they can be reprogrammed. The best practice is that every guest has a new key combination and they are cycled through so no combination opens the same room twice.
There’s no point in having security cameras if someone isn’t checking them. You may hire a team to check security, hire extra security and bodyguards, and/or hire an outside team to monitor the cameras, but footage should be watched live or checked routinely for any suspicious activity. Always hire more security people than you think you’d need. If there’s an emergency, a theft, or a guest accident, it’ll bound to cost you more than hiring enough people in the first place.
It’s important that security personnel and hotel employees patrol public areas to catch anything suspicious - be it a person or object - but make sure to do so with a coworker. Hotels can be large and dimly lit so make sure everything is done with someone.
Evacuation plans are designed for each floor and for each scenario, so make sure that employees know the evacuation plans - stairways, elevators, escalators, and so forth - in order for them to help guests evacuate safely in case of fire or emergency.
Past employees holding a grudge or people up to iniquitous activities can know your security and safety protocols if they don’t change, which means they need to change regularly. Don’t have the security personnel doing the same routine - like a dance - for years to come; come up with new ideas and new ways to keep the hotel safe. Create new patterns for hotel checks regularly. For example, instead of starting at the first room, the security team can begin with the last room - or somewhere in the middle - and make sure everything is safe.
For safety, make sure employees move with purpose and slowly. There’s no point running across the freshly mopped lobby where you may fall and break your arm or leg. Very few points in your career is it necessary to run when walking deliberately will do. Being slower and more deliberate in your actions will reduce your risks of falling, slipping, or tripping.
Shifts at a hotel can be arduous and long, so encourage all employees and coworkers to take regular breaks. A little stretch break or a snack break can make all the difference to that employee's day. Have a tea or coffee break in order to recharge and reenergise for the day. Tired or noncommittal employees cannot keep everyone safe.
Make sure that you have a friend on every shift who knows your whereabouts for safety reasons. Know if your friend is going to a guest room, to the bathroom, or to the kitchen to make sure you’re accountable to each other. It may help to have more than one coworker knowing where you are at all times in case of emergency or trouble.
No matter if you’re working in the kitchen, at the hotel register, working the key card machine, the coffee machine, or the vacuum cleaner, make sure you know how to operate all hotel machinery - that you need to operate to carry out your job functions - safely and effectively. Do not operate machinery for which you have not been trained.
9. Keep spills mopped, glass swept, and debris cleaned away and report hazards or unsafe conditions to management
For the safety of everyone at the hotel, any spills, glass, or debris need to be cleaned up in order to minimise hazards. Since slips, trips, and falls are the most common workplace accident, it’s important that spills are cleaned up immediately - or any other potentially hazardous substances.
If you see any hazards or unsafe conditions for employees or guests, then report it to management. Management may choose to update the health and safety plan in order to keep everyone safe, or they may take steps to reduce or eliminate the hazard, so whether it’s a tyre tread in the car park or a broken mirror in a room, report anything that can harm someone.
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Housekeeping and Bar Staff
Front of House Staff and Management
Every hotel has a health and safety plan in place, and make sure you’re familiar with all of the policies. Every hotel employee should have safety training and know what to do in case of an emergency. Every employee should know his or her role at any given point in the emergency plan.
The hospitality industry is a fast-paced environment and it takes vigilant employees in order to meet modern safety requirements and to keep guests and coworkers safe from harm. Keep these tips in mind to get everyone home safe and sound.
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