Most hospitality jobs are fast-paced and hands-on. Between endless shifts and demanding customers, the hospitality industry can be exhausting at times. There is no time to sit down and rest when the venue is filling up. You have to think fast and put your best face on.
At first glance, the hospitality industry might not strike you as dangerous – but the statistics say otherwise. The HSE found that the hospitality industry has a higher work accident rate than most sectors. There were around 434,000 injuries that caused up to seven days of absence in 2016/17. And a whopping 175,000 injuries led to more than seven days of absence. If you were involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault, seek the advice of a professional.
Here are some of the most common injuries in the industry.
Lifting and handling accidents
Lifting and handling account for 22% of non-fatal injuries. You can easily strain your back when lifting heavy items. You should tense your core and protect your back by lifting with your legs instead. You might experience muscle strain from lifting items repeatedly. Repeatedly lifting heavy items can cause back, beck, arm and leg pain. You should use lifting aids where possible to reduce the strain on your body.
Slips, trips and falls
Slipping, tripping and falling are the most common non-fatal injuries in the hospitality industry. You might slip on a wet patch on the floor where someone has spilt their drink. Or, you could trip over a customer’s coat lying on the floor. Adequate lighting and non-slip footwear can do wonders in preventing this kind of injury. You should also use signs to mark any recent spills for customers and staff.
7% of accidents are a result of violence in the workplace. Employees who work in face-to-face roles are at a higher risk of violence from customers or other employees. If you experience violence in the workplace, you should immediately report it. Speak to your manager, another colleague, or the HR department. You need to raise your concern and keep yourself safe. No one should have to work in a violent workplace.
Struck by an object.
Being struck by an object can cause cuts, bruises and more serious injuries, like a concussion. This accounts for 10% of hospitality industries, and it’s often down to items falling from a high shelf or moving loads with machinery. Ouch!
You should make sure all objects are secure before operating the lifting aid. Heavier items should be kept closer to the ground, just in case, they fall off. Try to avoid working under a moving load or standing near it.
Keep yourself safe at work and stay alert for any risk factors.