The hospitality industry has its own unique set of OHS challenges. For instance, the hospitality sector employs more young and inexperienced workers than other industries, making it inherently more susceptible to workplace injuries and accidents.
SafeWork NSW reported the following statistics for hospitality workers in NSW over the past three years:
18,000 workers were injured
250 workers were permanently disabled
8 workers died
The hospitality industry clearly faces some serious health and safety challenges. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most common dangers faced by hospitality workers and propose a solution to lapsing health and safety.
Manual Handling Injuries
One-third of all hospitality injuries are a result of manual tasks such as lifting, pushing, carrying and so forth. When workers are engaged in repetitive tasks, especially those that are accompanied by sustained force, they’re at risk for injury.
Seven of the eight deaths reported by SafeWork NSW were a result of manual tasks. OHS regulations include many standards intended to prevent such injuries. They cover a variety of topics, from the layout of the workplace to the postures, movements and vibrations related to manual tasks.
Because hospitality workers deal with kitchens and hazardous cleaning chemicals, burns are another major concern for employers. In some workplaces, there may literally be thousands of hazardous chemicals used in day-to-day operations.
Because of the inherent dangers of substances that cause burns, the OHS regulations for hazardous chemicals are comprehensive. They address the handling and storage of chemicals, the labelling of substances containing hazardous chemicals and even the signage you’re required to post in the workplace.
Noise-induced hearing loss is another big problem for the hospitality industry. SafeWork NSW reports that over the past four years, more than 10,000 workers have suffered noise-related injury, and more than 90% of these workers were left with some kind of permanent hearing loss.
Employers in the hospitality industry must be aware of and follow regulations related to appropriate noise levels in the workplace. These include requirements for decibel levels as well as audiometric testing for workers involved in certain tasks.
Running a vacuum over a wet carpet or cleaning an oven could lead to electric shocks, another source of injury for hospitality workers. SafeWork NSW reports that more than 2,000 workers have received electric shocks over the past four years, and six of these workers were permanently disabled from their injuries.
Many of the regulations surrounding electric shock are procedural. Others involve the regular testing of power tools and the inspection of workplace conditions. For example, you should be keeping a log of your safety inspections, which includes the name of the tester, the date of the current testing and the next testing, and the outcome of each test.
Violence and Aggression
Unfortunately, workers in the hospitality industry also face the risk of violence and aggression, often due to drugs and alcohol. On-the-job intoxication and the regular use or dependence on alcohol and other drugs adversely affects not only the person struggling with drug dependence but also his or her co-workers and customers.
OHS has designed regulations related to the way employers address these issues. These policies cover training, support for employees who are struggling to overcome addiction, drug testing and disciplinary procedures.
The Hospitality Manager’s Predicament
The above-mentioned challenges are just a sampling of the issues faced by hospitality managers. How can a manager keep track of all of these regulations and minimise the dangers inherent in employees’ work environments?
Comprehensive OHS software is the answer. It provides a more intelligent way to manage all of your risk, health and safety responsibilities. Not only does this software help you to stay on top of the latest regulations, but it also helps you to drive productivity and make better business decisions.
To learn more about our OHS software, or to get a live demo and test drive it yourself, get in touch with us at Vault. We’re here to help you succeed.
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