It is common knowledge that working in the hospitality industry presents many challenges, so it is no surprise there are a lot of first aid incidents in the workplace.
In 2013 – 2014, the hotel, food, and beverage industry in Australia had an incidence rate of 58.6 injuries and diseases in every 1,000 workers.
The Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy see the hospitality industry as a “priority” area to reduce many work-related injuries and illnesses.
For businesses to successfully manage this dynamic and challenging environment, all must operate at a very high level of professionalism. From management down to workers, everyone in the company must be proactive in addressing the threats and hazards to safety.
In terms of preventing and minimising workplace accidents, this means developing and implementing a safety system that works for all.
While everyone has a part to play in reducing health and safety incidents, every business must understand and embrace its first aid responsibilities.
Read on as we explore the common first aid incidents in the hospitality industry, including slips and falls, cuts and other wounds, burns, poor manual handling, and more. We also include some tips for creating a good working system for restaurants, hotels, and accommodation safety.
Three Common Hospitality Industry Injuries
Here are three common injuries within the hospitality to watch out for and be ready.
Slips, Trips And Falls
Accidents involving slips, trips, and falls are among the most common non-fatal workplace injuries.
Given the commonplace nature of such incidents, it is hardly surprising that nearly every workplace risks developing slip or trip hazards. It is easy to encounter a spilled drink on the floor, a curled rug corner, or an oil or chemical spill in large factories.
Such risks are hard to avoid, but the real problem arises when these hazards are not addressed promptly, turning them into a potential cause of injuries.
Poor Lifting And Handling
Poor lifting and handling incidents (manual handling) are the second most common workplace injury in Australia, accounting for more than 20% of non-fatal injuries.
These result from improper lifting techniques and handling heavy materials, which leads to muscle strains, back and neck pain, or soreness in the arms and legs.
These musculoskeletal injuries (MSDs) usually occur over a prolonged period, and may present themselves through a range of symptoms, such as pain, stiffness, and problems with movement and function.
Struck By An Object
Being struck by a moving object is one of the top causes of workplace injuries, accounting for 13% of overall fatalities.
The impact it causes can vary in degree, from minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises to something more serious such as concussion and loss of vision.
Common causes of being struck by an object include items falling from a high place, moving loads using machinery, and even dropping tools from above.
Although it is the fourth most common-not fatal workplace injury, it is one of the higher contributors to hospitalised injuries and cause of injury deaths.
Preventing Accidents And Incidents
Use Personal Protective Equipment
The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) helps prevent accidents from happening.
PPEs serve as a barrier between the worker and the hazards such as cut-resistant gloves, protective clothing, aprons, hairnets, safety shoes, etc.
Keep A Well-Stocked First Aid Kit
The law requires all workplaces, big or small, to maintain properly stocked first aid kits to prepare for unexpected injuries.
First aid kits are often found in convenient areas, where everyone can easily access the supplies. The kit must include small and large gauze pads, various size bandages, wound cleaners such as alcohol and wipes, scissors, tweezers, adhesive tape, resuscitation masks, etc.
It should also contain important documents and a first aid manual where the workers can obtain clear directions for emergency assistance.
Make sure that everyone knows the location of the first aid kit and assign someone to check and replace used or expired items.
First Response Training
Now that the supplies are complete, the next on the list is to provide the workers with the knowledge of first aid intervention.
In the absence of an in-house clinic or a hospital nearby, there should be assigned first aiders (or appointed persons) adequately trained to render necessary care.
Workplaces must providing first aid training to ensure they have sufficient first aid personnel on site. This will cost time and money, but providing workers with such skills and knowledge is a worthwhile – and very necessary – investment.
The more employees trained in first aid, the safer your workplace will be, both for workers and customers.
Learn First Aid
The hospitality industry can be a dangerous place to work in with knives, hot oil, slippery floors, and many other hazards.
However, certain precautions must be put in place to minimise these incidents and prevent severe disasters. Make sure to have a first aid kit in place to keep the employees safe.
Also, providing first aid training goes a long way in ensuring the health and safety of employees – quite apart from being a legal obligation!
If you are considering introducing First Aid training in the workplace, contact our team and sign up for one of our classes.
Head out to First Aid Courses Darwin website for upcoming courses and registration.