As a hotel or B&B owner, you will undoubtedly want to do all that you can to make your guests enjoy their stay, have a great time in your establishment and ultimately visit you again at a later date. Ensuring a high level of customer service alongside making sure your premises are attractive and the needs of the guest are met are some of the most effective methods of achieving this, however keeping them safe by maintaining high standards of health and safety will also stand you in good stead.
If you are the owner of a hotel, B&B or hostel with 3 or more bedrooms for guests, you must adhere to the Health and Safety law, enforced by the HSE (Health and Safety Executive), which relates to both guests and those who work for you. In order to help you comply with this law and keep your guests safe at all times, detailed below are a few things you should bear in mind;
Slip and Trip Hazards
Slips and trips are some of the most common accidents to arise within hotels and similar establishments, so you should do your utmost to reduce the risks to your guests. This can be achieved by making sure all floors are in a good condition and there are no bumps in carpets, loose fitting tiles or damaged vinyl that somebody could potentially trip on and by making sure any steps near doorways or low ceilings are suitably signed to make people aware. Furthermore, ensure cables are fixed into place and not trailing across the floor, and that all evacuation routes are kept clear and easily accessible in the event of an emergency.
Clean, Safe Drinking Water
If you run a large hotel with a significant number of rooms, there is a good chance you’ll have a water tank to keep a constant supply of water to your guests at all times. The upkeep of this water tank is vital as neglecting maintenance could have serious consequences, resulting in illness for your guests and staff and the possibility of having your establishment shut down whilst the problem is resolved. A COVAC tank reline can revitalise an old water tank, making sure the guests in your hotel have access to a supply of clean, safe water.
A fire safety certificate is required if you own an establishment with six or more rooms that you let out to guests, however fire safety should always be towards the top of your health and safety priority list. Ensure you have fire and smoke alarms fitted in all rooms, communal areas and landings to raise the alarm at the earliest possible opportunity and make sure you regularly assess your property for potential ignition points to reduce risks of a fire breaking out in the first place. You should also have a clear and comprehensive evacuation plan in place that is easily accessible for your guests to view within each room.
Guest Bedroom Safety
You must consider the safety of your guests whilst in their bedrooms too, not just in communal areas. Guest bedroom safety considerations include the maintenance of in-room electrical equipment, such as the kettle, as well as potential trip hazards from bedding, the stability of furniture and other areas that could cause injury including shelving and television brackets fitted to the wall. You also need to pay close attention to windows in the room, considering the risks associated with falling and determining whether there is a need to fit safety brackets that only allow the window to be opened to a certain distance.
Large hotels often have lifts available to guests to make it easy for them to access rooms on higher floors, however it is important that these are also looked after and well maintained in accordance with the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998. Comprehensive examinations must take place every six months on lifts that carry people and every 12 months for lifts carrying solely goods and equipment to ensure full and safe function. If you have en countered a problem or fault with the lift, or changes have been made to how it works, an examination must again take place in line with these legal regulations.
There are many more areas of health and safety that a hotelier or B&B owner must adhere to, including gas safety, manual handling, cleaning equipment and lighting to name just a few, yet if you ensure standards are consistently high, the chances of your business venture being a success are far greater as your guests will be safe and free to have a great and memorable time in your establishment.
This post was written by Oliver Kyle in partnership with COVAC; experts in the repair and reline of water tanks to guarantee a clean and safe water supply is always readily available.