Over the past three years in Australia alone;
– 18,000 hospitality industry workers were injured
– 250 workers were left permanently disabled
– 8 workers died
All of these instances could have been avoided, if workplace hazards had been identified and managed efficiently. All employees including executives are responsible for the safety of the workplace. Employers should be diligent in ensuring the workplace is safe and free from hazards, and employees need to ensure they are reporting all potential risks.
Common Workplace Hazards:
Overexertion, particularly in the hotel industry is extremely common when ineffectively moving heavy furniture. This can lead to a number of strains such as back injuries. To avoid overexertion, educate your staff on safe lifting techniques.
Staff should be reminded to bend their knees, place feet apart for balance, keep the heavy load close to their bodies, and avoid twisting.
Burns and scalds are extremely common in the hospitality industry and are often a result of spilling or splashing hot liquids, and coming into contact with hot surfaces. Avoid burns by lowering food into hot oil to avoid splash, ensure handles of pots and pans are not sticking out, and use oven mits when handling hot objects.
Heavy machinery equipment such as mixers and meat slicers can cause serious injuries such as cuts, crush injuries, amputations and fractures if not used properly. To avoid this, ensure all equipment is fitted with guards, check manufacturers instructions for safe use, and fit old equipment with safety guards.
Slippery floors lead to falls and slips. Avoid slippery floor injuries by regularly cleaning floors to remove oil, ensure staff are wearing grippy shoes, implement rubber mats in the workplace, and wipe up any water left on the floor.
Hospitality staff are regularly dealing with sharp equipment, especially chefs. This sharp equipment can cause serious cuts, or even loss of fingers. Reduce this risks by using a flat cutting board, cut away from your body and hold the knife with your stronger hand.
Being smart in the workplace is important to avoid serious injuries. Safety should never be compromised and should always be the number one priority. If you are aware of a hazard in your workplace, be sure to report it. You could be saving someone further down the line.