9 Benefits of Observing Workplace Safety in the Food Service and Hospitality Industry
Foodservice and hospitality industries are a large part of the American economy, employing millions of people and generating billions in taxes. Sadly, however, the industry also has one of the highest incident rates for work-related fatal injuries. This is due to a lack of understanding of safety issues in the workplace and employers’ negligent attitude.
Luckily, a lot can be done to make the industry safer than it currently is. Safety is a priority across all sectors, from farm to table and from office kitchen to sleek restaurant bar. Here are the benefits of workplace safety in the hospitality and food service industry.
1. It Promotes Public Health
The food service and hospitality industries are responsible for many aspects of everyday life. It’s not just about serving food but also ensuring that it is healthy and safe for consumption. Unsafe workplaces can result in diners getting sick or even dying, meaning that it is not just the workers’ health that needs to be considered. Food service establishments are held accountable for their operations, so they must adhere to the relevant safety regulations. As such, they should be aware of the importance of workplace safety and what it means to their future health and well-being.
2. It Protects Worker Rights
Having a job and earning an income is one of the most basic human needs. To achieve this, workers must be able to do their job without fear of getting injured or killed. Unfortunately, many food service establishments put their employees in danger by not providing them with proper safety equipment or training. This means that the workers are unaware of the dangers they face when they go to work and are responsible for their safety while on shift. Unsafe workplaces will also lead to a loss of productivity.
3. It Helps the Economy and Fiscal Stability
Many food service establishments rely on the services of contractors and independent workers to help them with their operations. These workers are often at risk of workplace injuries, which means they may not be able to return to work within a reasonable amount of time. This can lead to the loss of clients’ contracts and services and insurance premiums due to the increase in claims.
4. It Helps To Avoid Lawsuits and Compliance Issues
Unsafe workplaces will result in workers who file claims and lawsuits against the employer because they have been put at risk. The cost of these lawsuits can be financially crippling and eventually lead to the closure of food service establishments or even the entire industry unless changes are made for the better. Also, many food service establishments are audited for compliance by local and federal authorities. The result of these audits can be hefty fines if issues pertaining to safety are found, resulting in a financial loss that can be disastrous.
5. It Helps To Attract and Retain Skilled Workers
The hospitality industry is well-known for its part-time, and seasonal, workers who work in the industry as a secondary source of income or just for the summer. Most of these workers leave their job not because they want to but because of the dangerous working conditions. A safe and healthy workplace helps people feel more at ease and comfortable, ensuring they stay longer. A safe workplace also helps to attract skilled and knowledgeable workers who will help to increase productivity and reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.
6. It Enables Productivity
A safe and healthy workplace will foster a higher level of productivity, allowing more food to be served simultaneously, and increasing the industry’s income. Also, having healthier workers means less absenteeism and more people available for work, promoting higher productivity.
7. It Reduces the Risk of Workplace Injuries
Food service workers are at a greater risk of injuries than workers in many other occupations. Most of these involve cuts and burns, while others may cause a loss of limb or even death.
Also, employees should get workers’ compensation insurance to cover the cost of medication, which can be high due to the nature and extent of certain injuries. This insurance will help get employees back on their feet in a relatively short time, helping them heal and making it possible for them to go back to work without losing too much income.
8. It Gives Workers a Sense of Pride
A safe workplace will positively impact the morale of all employees, from inexperienced workers to those with more experience within the industry. A safe workplace will help make workers feel more comfortable, leading to higher productivity and better customer service. Also, the fact that safe food and drinks are being served means that employees spend less time worrying about their safety and will also contribute positively to the company’s overall morale.
9. It Promotes Safety Culture
The introduction of a safety culture in food service establishments is important, especially in situations where employees and employers may not be aware of the risks they face. A safe workplace promotes awareness about what can happen due to unsafe behaviors and facilities as well as cutting corners when implementing solutions.
Workplace safety is a growing concern in the hospitality industry. Harassment and assaults against staff are rising and it impacts their performance, wellness, and liability risk. Modern technologies such as panic buttons for hotel workers protect them to improve well-being, increase job satisfaction, and elevate company culture – all while reducing workers’ comp claims, liability insurance, turnover costs, and more
All food service establishments need to adopt a safe working culture that will help to reduce the risk of workplace violence and other hazards. Doing this will also enhance productivity and increase the morale of all workers. To achieve this, employers must train employees to protect themselves against violence and avoid injuries by using personal protective equipment. Also, as technology advances, employers should embrace it to become aware of health risks and protect their businesses.
Source: Ross Arrowsmith