We want to be safe when we travel and minimize any worries that could interrupt our vacation plans. As part of the service and hospitality industry, hotels set standards for basic safety and accident prevention. Being a savvy traveller or employee can help keep you safe on any of your stays away from home.
Trips and Falls
* According to Robert Kohr's book on accident prevention in hotels and other hospitality locations, trips and falls are the most frequently occurring types of accidents for guests and employees. When you approach a hotel, take note of where carpets lay versus where there are bare floors. Pay attention to the slant of the ground or floor, as when a wheelchair ramp is present. Wet, icy and snowy weather brings water onto these usually smooth surfaces, as does cleaning or mopping. If the area has a bare-floor lobby or entrance, be on guard for them to be slick when wet and be more attentive. Stairways, landings, balconies and bathrooms are the other most likely places for falls to occur. Look for and use handrails or guardrails. Make sure these areas are well-lit before you traverse them, so you have the best advantage of seeing a potential hazard. While the facilities themselves can't control the health or vision of guests, their best precautions include noting if an area is slippery (wet floor maintenance signs) or posting safety guidelines such as "use handrail on stairs." In addition, take note of where glass windows or doors separate sections of the building or various hallways. These can sometimes blend into the background and become potential hazards if they are not frosted or designer glass. Pay attention when you come and go, never carrying loads that obscure your field of vision or impede your ability to walk a clear, unobstructed path. Prevention and Security
* As a guest or employee at a hotel, if you are concerned about the safety measures in case of fire, tornado or other natural disaster, ask the manager where the fire extinguishers hang or where to locate the emergency exits. Hotels normally post diagrams on the inside of each room door or wall so you should have that information in your room as well. Most hotels do not have external security locks on their lobby, as guests come and go at all hours. However, you can ask about the external security features of a hotel before booking your reservation. Hotels with increased security have rooms all within a lobby-accessed building. Lock your room when you are inside and when you leave. For extra safety, especially while traveling overseas, hotels allow you to or ask you to leave your room keys with the desk when you go out to prevent loss, theft or access by potentially harmful persons. To protect your personal valuables, many hotels offer safety deposit boxes, either in the room or at the front desk. Make use of these on a regular basis to avoid issues with theft or lost items, especially in busy travel seasons at highly trafficked locations. 1
Crisis Management Plans
A crisis management plan should be part of an overall safety and emergency preparedness plan and a standard part of your overall strategic planning process. As important as dealing with any emergency situation is dealing with perceptions – what the public thinks happened. This should be planned in the same way you would plan for damage to property or injuries to people. Planning for perception will also protect your company’s image/credibility and its ability to recover after a crisis. Too often, companies make the mistake of waiting until a crisis occurs to plan a reaction. This gives the company the smallest chance of surviving the crisis without damage. Be prepared ahead of time and your company has the greatest chance to weather the crisis unharmed. The following will give you some easy to-remember guidelines on getting started with your crisis management plan: · Predict – Anticipate everything that could go wrong with your company....
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