10 Safety Mistakes Hotel Managers Make and How to Avoid Them

Author:Diana Barber Esq
Profession:Barber Law Associates, P.C.

Every hotel and motel manager makes mistakes; that's just part of being human. All mistakes are costly; but some have a greater financial impact than others do. The following list cites potentially costly security gaps most hoteliers are not aware of or haven't focused on - and should.

Never cut back on security personnel. In these times of cost containment and budget controls, security is the one area of your budget that should never be cut. The financial impact of reducing or eliminating your security staff would be tremendous should a guest or employee be injured or damage to property occur. In addition, eliminating or reducing security personnel sends the wrong message to staff members, namely that their safety is not of the highest importance to your business and that you are not watching them as closely.

Have an evacuation route posted in your meeting room space. Meeting rooms serve as gathering places for large groups of people who will most likely panic in the event of an emergency such as a hurricane, earthquake, bomb threat and so on. In the event of a crisis, will your group function attendees know where to go and what to do? Have evacuation routes posted in meeting rooms for group attendees to see, and ask your sales and catering personnel to have detailed discussions with the meeting planners about evacuation procedures.

Increase lighting throughout your property. Look for physical areas on or around the property that do not have adequate lighting or are not secure, and address these issues immediately. Check your parking lots for areas where lighting needs improvement. Ask your local law enforcement agency to do a security audit on your property. Don't wait until someone falls or is injured to protect your guests, employees and your business.

Continuously train employees. When it rains or snows and a guest slips and falls on your property, do your employees know the proper steps to take to protect the injured guest, not to make casual comments admitting liability and how to handle the situation? Who is responsible for their training? Make it your objective to ensure that your employees receive adequate training on procedures for handling guest injuries. Initial training and continuous ongoing training are critical. One hour of training is not enough. Keep detailed records of the procedures and training which can be used in your efforts to convince a litigious opposing party, and a judge, of your due diligence in safety training.

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