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Having an injury at work or becoming ill through work is not a pleasant subject to think about. The fact is that over 200 people a year lose their lives at work in Britain. In addition to that around 150000 non-fatal injuries are reported each year, and an estimated 2 million suffer from ill health caused or made worse by work or the working environment.
The people believe that these things happen in highly unusual or exceptional circumstances that never occur in your workplace, but this is not the case. Some basic thinking and acting beforehand could easily prevent these mishaps from happening. For such things implementation of health and safety measures should be in place.
Implementing of health and safety measures doesn't really have to be expensive, time consuming or complicated. Safer, more efficient working practices can often save money but more importantly they can prevent any harm to lives. This booklet will show you the kind of things which can cause the more common accidents and harm to human health. It will help you see what applies to your work activities, and tells you how you can get more information and help. This is especially important if you are in charge of work activity. (Health & Safety Executive website)
Regulations on Health and Safety
The Regulations are the laws approved by Parliament. These are usually made under the Health and Safety at Work Act, following proposals from HSC (Health and Safety Commission). This applies to regulations based on EC (European Commission) Directives as well as 'home-grown' ones. The Health and Safety at Work Act, and general duties in the Management Regulations, are goal-setting and leave employers freedom to decide how to control risks which they identify. Guidance and Approved Codes of Practice gives people advice. But some risks are so major, or their control measures so costly, that it would not be appropriate to leave employers discretion in deciding what to do about them. Regulations helps identify these risks and help plan specific action that must be taken in order to control them. (Health & Safety Executive website)
There are many laws, regulations and codes to consider before becoming a hotelier. There is a minefield of bureaucracy to consider ranging from licensing rules to food hygiene and fire regulations. If something goes wrong in a hotel, ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of the law. The cost of breach in the law ranges from criminal and civil actions against an individual (including fines) and even imprisonment for more serious breaches. Even the simple process of naming your new hotel does have regulatory implications.
One of the most serious threats to the hotel business and it's guests is an unexpected fire. Typically this is caused by a kitchen fire but also occasionally occurs due to an electrical appliance overheating or a guest causing some type of accident. The obvious safety precautions such as installing fire extinguishers, fire exit signs, checking fire exits and undertaking regular fire drills you must also limit the ability of a potential fire to spread.
Likewise to protect the safety and health and welfare of guests, hoteliers are obliged to ensure that all gas equipment and gas appliances meet with the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires that hoteliers must take notice of substances which may cause injury or illness to their staff.Â (Assetsure Insurance website)
Importance of Health & Safety
The Health & Safety is all about preventing people from being harmed by work or becoming ill by taking the right precautions and providing a satisfactory working environment.
Employee Health and Safety has always been paramount in the way many operating companies conduct their business. As the organisation grows in scale and diversity, the range of risks that need to be effectively managed has substantially increased and the importance of maintaining the reputation for safety would become even greater. A rigorous system and processes should be in place to control risks and to embed the health and safety culture in all the staff.
Ensuring Health & Safety at Work
The Organisation's vision is to be trusted by staff, customers and stakeholders as a safe organisation with a record for health, safety and staff welfare that exceeds market benchmarks. And the mission should be to sustain an environment that protects health, safety and welfare. (Serco Group plc website), (Fraser R. (2009))
It is the Policy of the Organisation to comply with the legal obligations outlined in the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and other similar statutory provisions. (Bournemouth University website)
4.1. Seven steps to health and safety
The following seven steps will help the organisation to ensure health and safety at workplace.
4.1.1 Control hazards and develop a safety plan.
One must identify hazards at your workplace and take steps to eliminate or minimize them. Develop a safety plan. Tell your colleagues what you will do to ensure their safety and what you expect from them. Make sure the staff has access to a first aid kit.
4.1.2. Inspect your workplace.
Regularly check all equipment and tools to ensure that they are well maintained and safe to use. Also check storage areas and review safe work procedures.
4.1.3. Train your staff.
Take the time to train your workers; tell them and show them how to do specific tasks. Consider providing written instructions and safe work procedures so the staff can check for themselves if they are unsure of a task or have forgotten part of their training. The staff should be supervised to ensure that they are utilizing their training in a proper manner.
4.1.4. Communicate with your staff.
Meet regularly with your staff and discuss health and safety issues. Encourage them to share their ideas and thoughts on how to improve safety in the workplace.
4.1.5. Investigate incidents.
Look into the causes of accidents, including near misses where no one was injured. Try to find ways to change procedures or equipment to help prevent similar incidents from occurring.
4.1.6. Maintain records.
Keep records of all first aid treatment, inspections, incident investigations, and training activities. This information can help you identify trends in unsafe conditions or work procedures.
4.1.7. Make safety a key part of your business.
Safety shouldn't be an after-thought. It's just as important to a successful business as customer service, inventory control, and financial planning. A commitment to health and safety makes good business sense because it's the one way to protect your greatest resource - your people. (The Workers Compensation Board website, 2009)
Safety in Hotels
Hotels, large or small, rural or city based can be hazardous places. The details mentioned below highlight some of the hazards and risks that might exist in your hotel. They are by no means exhaustive and will vary depending on a particular business. (Coleraine Borough Council website)
Health and Safety Policy Statement and guidelines
The organisation is committed to operating a safe and healthy business for its employees and customers and for any other persons who may be affected by these activities, so far as is reasonably practicable. As a minimum the organisation will comply with all legal and industry standards.
It is the responsibility of all the employees to take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and other persons who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work
Specific responsibilities have been allocated to certain senior Managers.
6.1. Risk Assessment
Please ensure that your Manager discusses location specific risk assessment with you. If you are a new or expectant mum, it is essential that you inform your Manager immediately who will ensure that an appropriate risk assessment is carried out.
All accidents, however minor, must be reported to the superiors. Your Manager will then investigate the circumstances of the accident and ensure the details are recorded in the 'Accident Book'. The purpose of reporting seemingly minor accidents or 'near misses' is so that remedial action can be taken to avoid a more serious accident.
6.3. Using Dangerous Equipment
Employees must not operate dangerous equipment e.g. meat slicers, food processors, waste disposal machines etc, unless they have been fully trained in the use of the machine, the inherent dangers of the machine and the precautions needed to avoid an accident. No person under the age of 18 may clean or operate dangerous machinery.
6.4. First Aid
First aid facilities are available wherever you work. It is the responsibility of your manager to inform you to the location of these facilities and take control of the situation in the event of an accident. It is also the responsibility of the Manager to ensure the contents of the first aid kit are maintained.
The fire evacuation will vary depending on the workplace. It is the responsibility of the Manager to inform employees of the local arrangements. In the event of a fire the following basic advice should be followed.
Raise the alarm
Call the fire brigade
6.6. Health & Safety Training
All managers must ensure that the necessary hygiene, health & safety training has been completed and that written records of the training are kept and maintained in each unit/office.
Must be enclosed at the toes and heels and have a non-slip of a compost material.
Jewellery can harbour bacteria, create a hazard when working with machinery, and find it way into the food people eat.
6.9. Personal Hygiene
All the employees must pay particular attention to personal hygiene and freshness. Body odour and stale breath are offensive to both customers and colleagues. One must wash and bathe regularly, use deodorants and clean your teeth regularly.
Hair must be clean, well combed or brushed and ensured that they do not fall in the service or preparation area.
Hand washing facilities and sanitizers are available in all units.
Hands must be washed frequently in accordance with good hygiene practices and always entering the food room or after visiting the toilet. Nails must be kept short and clean and nail polish must not be worn. Fingers must not touch the hair, be placed in the mouth or nose or used to taste, transfer or serve food. Cuts or sores must be completely covered with a clean blue waterproof dressing.
For reason of safety and hygiene smoking is forbidden in all enclosed public access areas, food storage, food production and customer service area.
6.13. Cold and Sickness
You should never cough or sneeze near food. A clean handkerchief or tissue should be used to contain the cough or sneeze and then be disposed off immediately. Hands must be then washed.
You must immediately inform your Manager or supervisor if you are suffering form nay of the conditions listed below.
Ear or throat infections
Dysentery (amoebic and bacillary)
(Select Service Partners, Food Travel Experts, 2009)
Health and safety legislation
Health and safety is of utmost importance at work. There are rules that require all of us not to put ourselves or others in danger. And then there are laws which will protect the public from workplace dangers. (Health & Safety Executives website)
Two of the most important pieces of health and safety legislation affecting all the establishments across the UK are the Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. These set the standards, must be met to ensure the health and safety of all employees and others who may be affected by the work activities. There are various regulations that would cover work activities that carry particular risks, for example lifting or carrying of heavy material, computer related work and risks through electrical appliances. (Association of Teachers and Lecturers website)
If an employee is injured or even killed through lack of training, this could result in prosecution, a large fine or even imprisonment under the recent Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007.
According to Health and Safety Executives statistics, 228 people were killed at work in 2007/08, 34 of them in manufacturing, and nearly half a million people were injured while at work. Thirty-six million working days were lost, 30 million due to work-related ill health and 6 million due to workplace injury.
The principal piece of legislation governing hotels in the UK is one designed to ensure the safety of both hotel workers and patrons. Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) sets down the minimum obligations accommodation providers have to their employees, also to any customers visiting or using the premises. In recent years, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Act (1999) follows a European Union directive by setting up basic guidelines that would help hotels to implement more adequate risk assessment programmes. (The Independent Newspaper, 2007)