Tips for Employees of Busy Hotels
According to the American Hotel and Motel Association (AHMA), the U.S. hotel and lodging industry brings in $134 billion a year and employs nearly 1.8 million people. While much emphasis and attention is placed on the needs and safety of guests (in order to keep the business flourishing), how much attention is placed on the safety and well-being of the hotel’s employees?
From manning reception desks during late night and early morning hours, to cleaning guest rooms, to serving meals, hotel employees are often put in risky and dangerous situations daily. The most common injuries are usually physical, such as slips and falls, but employees can also experience risks related to indoor air quality, violence, bloodborne pathogens, chemical exposure, and insufficient safety rules and regulations.
What can hotel employees do to ensure they remain safe while at work? Ask your hotel employer these questions.
- Has a security check around the hotel been performed to make sure adequate security measures are in place?
- Are locks, security cameras or other safety equipment functioning properly?
- If prior crimes occurred in the area, are new security measures implemented or upgraded in response to the crimes which took place on or around the hotel?
- Is employee parking safe and well lit? Are surrounding areas kept safe, such as are bushes and landscaping kept low and trimmed so you know who’s around at all times? If you don’t feel safe, can you walk with another person when coming to work and leaving?
- Are any security alarms, video surveillance, camera monitors, intercom systems, call boxes, metal detectors, gates, fencing, controlled access panels, door locks, window locks or other equipment outdated, defective, inoperable, poorly maintained, or in disrepair?
- Are stairwells, hallways, corridors, entrance/exit, parking lots well lit?
- If any violent crimes happen in the area, are employees informed right away?
- Are there security guards on duty? Are they attentive, competent and trained to respond quickly to emergencies?
- Do guards or security conduct routinely inspect all doors, gates or windows that are required to be locked?
- Are background checks performed to make sure employees don’t have prior criminal records?
- Are employees trained what to do if a guest or visitor poses a threat or danger while in the hotel or outside?
- Are cashiers or other employees protected with pass-through cash windows, bullet-resistant glass, or other protective enclosures, if necessary?
- Do you know your escape route before entering new or unfamiliar areas?
These are some safety precautions that hotel owners and/or hotel managers should review and implement to make sure employees are kept as safe as possible, both inside the hotel and while entering and leaving work.
If you are working in a hotel, you should never put your own safety at risk. If you feel vulnerable or unsafe while at work, you should remove yourself from the dangerous situation as soon as possible. If a guest makes you uncomfortable with their actions, report their behavior to your supervisor right away.
If you or someone in your family works in a hotel and have been the victim of a sexual assault, homicide or other violence, we have the available resources to investigate what happened, and to counsel you about whether negligent or inadequate security played a role in allowing that crime to occur.