The words "Hospitality Industry" bring to mind scenes of vacations, fun and family. While the Hospitality Industry includes hotels of every kind, various restaurant styles and a broad spectrum of places that are of interest to tourists, there are other less glamorous aspects of providing hospitality that may not be so readily apparent, but are of importance to the safety and risk professional. Addressing the nitty-gritty details of the potential hazards can increase the likelihood that regulators will have no complaints, employees will go home with all body parts intact, plaintiff lawyers will look elsewhere for easy money and guests will have a pleasant safe experience and are more likely to be return visitors.

Hotels range in styles from quaint bed-and-breakfasts to self-sufficient multi-story facilities or even cruise ships. Restaurants, likewise, can vary from fast food to formal elegance to caterers who will travel almost anywhere to offer a feast. For both hotels and restaurants to function smoothly, there is an amazingly large chain of base industries working behind-the-scenes to support the front line businesses that actually touch the guests. Enterprises such as food service, laundry services forlinens, uniform rentals, chemical suppliers, medical suppliers, lawn care, food processing, temporary labor suppliers for wait staff, canneries and many other providers each come with their own unique set of risks and potential hazards. Tourist attractions, such as amusement parks, casinos, tour companies and convention centers all have their own set of background industries that they rely on to operate smoothly. Passenger carriers, maintenance, electrical and mechanical specialists and movers all play a behind-the-scenes role in supporting these attractions. Obviously, the Hospitality Industry encompasses a much broader spectrum of businesses than most people realize.

With a field that consists of such a variety of businesses, there are many reciprocal safety and risk issues. Keep in mind that not only employees, but also customers and vendors can suffer the same injuries. They too can be exposed to some of the same risks.

The following list consists of some of the variety of safety and risk issues. Remember that the scenarios and examples discussed in this presentation are just some of the possibilities of likely occurrences. The safety and risk issues are:

  • Slip-and-falls,

  • Lacerations,

  • Lifting and Back Care,

  • Burns,

  • Hazardous Materials,

  • Machine Guards,

  • Transportation and Delivery,

  • Forklifts,

  • Use of Subcontractors,

  • Bloodborne Pathogens,

  • Drugs and Alcohol,

  • Violence in the Workplace,

  • Child Labor, and

  • Migrant Workers.

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