Staying Safe When Lone Working in Hospitality – Top 5 Tips
Working alone in the hospitality industry is very common and occurs across a wide range of sub-sectors and job roles. The biggest risk presented comes from employees working unsociable hours and encountering people under the influence of either drugs or alcohol.
Below we have listed some of the hazards that can be found in the hospitality sector, along with our top five tips for keeping safe.
What Are the Hazards of Lone Working in Hospitality?
There are a variety of hazards those in the hospitality industries face, sectors, where staff are at risk, include hotels, pubs/bars and restaurants. The majority of hazards come are people-related risks – usually alcohol related.
The biggest hazard for lone workers across the hospitality sectors is the risk presented by customers. People can quickly become aggravated when they think they have received bad service. Most of the time this can be resolved without incident but there are occasions where customers may become aggressive or violent. If alcohol or drugs are involved the situation is much more likely to become hostile.
Most employers try to make sure that employees are not left on their own at closing or opening times but it does still happen. Employees are particularly vulnerable if alone in a pub or restaurant at these times as they present the ideal opportunity for the thieves to strike. The majority of robberies happen while staff are opening up or closing a property.
Travelling to/from work
As an employer, you have a duty to ensure that your employees get home safe. Working in hospitality usually means working unsociable hours. Late nights workers are more likely to encounter hazards whilst travelling home late at night. This could be from drunk people, thieves or random attacks.
Accidents that including falling are quite common in the hospitality industry. This presents a major problem if an employee falls or has an accident away from the rest of the team. Changing barrels in a bar cellar, for example. Large clubs, hotels and restaurants can have many areas that are not heavily populated – think laundry rooms or service areas. If an employee was to have an accident on their own in one of these areas it could potentially be fatal.
Top 5 Tips for Staying Safe When Working in Hospitality
1) Know how to defuse hostile situations
As the main risk to those working in hospitality comes from people who may lose their temper and become aggressive, you should be prepared to handle hostile situations. This includes people who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Remember, people can change quite suddenly and are unpredictable while under the influence.
2) Make proper arrangements for opening/closing times
As mentioned, opening and closing times are the ideal times for thieves to strike. Even when working in pairs, be alert and don’t leave doors unlocked or make it obvious when entering or leaving a property on your own.
3) Carry a lone worker device
Lone worker devices can be used in all sorts of situations in the hospitality industry. From locking up time, walking home from work or having to travel to different locations or enter cellars/service areas. Make sure your device is charged up and in a place you easily reach it.
4) Travel safety
Ensure that you have a good method of travelling to and from work. Don’t walk home through empty parks or past waste grounds and try to avoid hotspots that have lots of drunk people. Ideally, a taxi is best when travelling late at night. Even then, you should still keep your wits about you.
5) Don’t try to reason with aggressive drunks
Finally, if a drunk person tries to argue with you or becomes hostile it is often best to try and leave the situation or have security/the police remove the person. Arguing or trying to reason with people under the influence doesn’t work and can actually make the situation worse.
Get in Touch
If you work in hospitality or run an establishment in the industry then First2HelpYou provide a range of lone worker products that could help protect you and your staff.
For help and advice please get in touch via our contact page or give us a call on 0333 7729401.