Cultivate the Right Culture: 6 Tips for Developing a Positive Safety Culture in Your Hospitality Business

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Whether that means using the best workers comp for restaurants or crafting safe travel experiences for tourists, developing a positive safety culture is essential for all those in the hospitality business. Let’s look at five ways to do it.

1. Check equipment regularly

In the hospitality industry generally—and more specifically in restaurant kitchens full of hot stoves and fast-moving employees—workplace equipment can lead to injuries, accidents, and other forms of danger. To reduce the risk of accidents in the kitchen, ensure that all commercial equipment is kept up to date with any servicing needs. Furthermore, ensure that all kitchen knives stay sharp because blunt knives are a common cause of injury.

2. Clarify everyone’s roles and responsibilities

A high-density hotel or fast-paced restaurant is a complex operation with many moving parts. This presents a problem for safety. If an employee identifies something unsafe, they might not know who to tell. The best way to avoid that confusion is to clarify everyone’s roles and responsibilities. Alongside placing this in everyone’s job description, it helps to have referenceable reminders in break rooms and other staff areas. That way, everyone can easily see who is in charge of what. 

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3. Develop emergency protocols

As hosts, housekeepers, wait staff, and other members of the hospitality industry know, it’s rare for things to go perfectly according to plan. That’s why it’s crucial for business owners to train their staff to deal with any emergency situations that may arise. 

For hotel staff, this may include dealing with property damage, inebriated guests, or fire threats. Staff at restaurants may need to deal with food poisoning, choking hazards, and cardiac arrest. Although specifics vary from workplace to workplace, the general principle is the same: train staff on what to do during a crisis. 

4. Conduct conflict resolution training

Training and education are key components of safety in any workplace. This is particularly true in the hospitality business, where customer attitudes range widely from mildly disagreeable to outright hostile. Conflict resolution training can improve workplace safety in both cases. Though the training isn’t guaranteed to work in every situation, more often than not, it reduces customer tensions and raises employee self-confidence.

5. Model positive behavior

After training employees and encouraging them to follow safety protocols, it’s important to ensure management is doing the same. If management regularly breaks protocols or disregards basic safety, then employees are unlikely to take it seriously. Ultimately this leads to an unsafe workplace with higher rates of injuries and accidents. That’s why managers must model positive safety behavior and lead by example. 

6. Implement a simple reporting process

Alongside management leading by example, it’s essential to encourage employees to be proactive. One of the most effective ways to do this is by implementing a simple reporting process. When employees see something unsafe, make it easy for them to report it. 

Ensuring safety reports are simple to make is only the first step. You and your managers must also take reports seriously. Acting on employee intel by immediately addressing problems will demonstrate to your team that the business takes safety seriously. Furthermore, it shows that employees play a major role in upholding safety standards. 

By regularly checking equipment, modeling positive behavior, and following the other tips above, hospitality businesses can show they prioritize safety. This improves their operations and reputation and supports the well-being of employees and customers. 

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