Which hotel workers are at greatest risk when working alone
Staff safety is an essential but often overlooked part of people management and workplace culture. Providing a safe environment for employees is an integral responsibility of any employer. It must be addressed with the highest priority – especially when considering industries and roles that place workers in vulnerable scenarios.
To this effect, the subject of staff safety in the hospitality industry is always relevant, as hospitality workers notoriously face the risk of injury or injury on the job. It’s a well-known fact in the industry and, finally, after many years of negative headlines and rapid staff turnover, hotel brands are reconsidering their internal security protocols to better protect their staff. Of course, you can’t manage what you can’t measure, and hoteliers can’t expect to protect their team from threats if they don’t identify those threats first. To effectively revamp the safety culture in hotels, we must first explore how hospitality staff members are most vulnerable in the performance of their duties and what those risks are.
Housekeepers are the backbone of any hotel – without their essential and diligent care, hotels would be unable to maintain key brand standards both in guest rooms and throughout the property. However, a housekeeper’s job is often isolated in nature. When cleaning a guest room, a housekeeper may be the only person in the room or, often, the only staff member on the entire floor. Moreover, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that almost 90% of housekeepers in hotels are women. As such, housekeepers often face a high level of risk, including but not limited to:
- Risk of physical injury: Housekeepers can accidentally slip, fall or injure themselves while cleaning or disposing of trash (such as broken glass and other bodily waste left by guests).
- Medical Emergency Risk: Housekeepers can suffer from a sudden and unexpected health-related emergency, such as a heart attack or stroke.
- Risk of Sexual/Physical Assault: Housekeepers can be physically harmed when performing tasks alone in a room if the guest makes inappropriate advances (such as pushing the housekeeper to the floor or locking her in the room).
- Risk of sexual harassment: Statistics show that the vast majority (53%) of all housekeepers in hotels have experienced some form of sexual harassment at work (such as indecent exposure to a guest).
Like housekeepers, housekeepers are an integral part of any hotel brand and often perform their duties in isolated environments. While tending to duties in guest rooms or on various floors of a hotel, housekeepers often perform incredibly laborious work, with little or no access to immediate assistance in an emergency. As such, maintenance workers frequently face a high level of risk including, but not limited to:
- Risk of physical injury: Maintenance workers can slip, fall or severely strain a muscle when performing heavy, repetitive physical work.
- Respiratory: Exposure to chemicals, dust, etc. when performing tasks can lead to long-term respiratory problems.
- Harassment or violence: Similar to the housekeeping department, housekeepers frequently encounter potentially violent scenarios or guest harassment, which can be defined as any act in which a person is abused, threatened, intimidated, or assaulted. as she works on the property.
Front desk staff
In any hotel, front desk clerks are ubiquitous – they are the staff members placed in front of guests, available 24/7 to greet guests, oversee check-in/check-out, address concerns, mitigate complaints, and more. Although this role is less isolated in nature depending on the time of day, they are often the primary point of contact between a guest and the hotel and as such their safety can often be compromised by the following risks:
- Risk of verbal or physical aggression: A disgruntled customer may lash out at an unsuspecting front desk employee, verbally or physically (or both) depending on the situation.
- Medical Emergency Risk: As reception staff constantly come into direct and close contact with customers, they face increased exposure to health risks (especially given the spread of pathogens like the COVID-19 virus).
Reception staff are also more likely to identify signs of human trafficking. Without the appropriate support or means to report suspicions and request intervention, these staff members could be placed in grave danger.
It is the responsibility of hoteliers to create a safe and supportive environment for their staff, which requires the use of appropriate security measures, staff training and staff security technology, such as hotel panic buttons. There is no better time than now to invest in staff safety; after all, protecting your staff is one of the best ways to protect your hotel’s reputation and culture.
Ready to revamp and reform your on-property security infrastructure? TraknProtect can help you. Click here for more information.
About TraknProtect | TraknProtect is a provider of real-time location technology enabling hotels to harness the power of location data and integrate it into their security and operations systems. TraknProtect provides enhanced security devices (ESD) for hotel employees through the activation of an integrated security button solution alerting security personnel to the location of employees in need of assistance. The platform provides additional access to locations and real-time data on hotel inventory, room service trays, and vendor activity on the property. The TraknProtect software platform also enables hotels to improve guest satisfaction, increase employee efficiency and improve employee safety by using TraknProtect data analytics to save significant capital costs. and make smarter inventory purchasing decisions and better management of external vendors. For more information, please visit www.traknprotect.com and follow us on LinkedIn.