Tools of the Trade: Training to Increase Safety, Decrease Risk

By Raul Chacon Western Regional Loss Control Manager, EMPLOYERS Insurance, Inc. | April 20, 2014

Nearly 90,000 hospitality and leisure workers had a nonfatal occupational injury or illness in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. More than 26,500 of those injuries involved workers who fell, slipped, or tripped while on the job and missed days of work as a result.

Workplace injuries can be costly in terms of out-of-pocket expenses, lost productivity and potentially higher insurance premiums. A recent survey by EMPLOYERS® found that 35 percent of small businesses cite workplace safety as one of the top risks they worry about.

By investing proactively in safety programs and training, hotels can reduce workplace accidents, potentially increase employee retention and improve work productivity.

Workplace Safety as a Strategic Investment

Strategic risk management and workplace safety are vital to maximizing business performance. Not only do they protect a business' most important asset – its employees – these programs can result in real bottom line operational and cost benefits.

A key element of strategic risk management is an understanding of workers' compensation insurance and how to maximize that investment. Workers' compensation insurance covers employers for their statutory and legal obligations for employee expenses that are a direct result of on-the-job injuries or illness. While plans differ within and among states, workers' compensation benefits can include weekly payments in place of wages and reimbursement for payment of medical and rehabilitation expenses. Depending upon the jurisdiction, business owners can obtain their workers' compensation protection from private insurance companies, state insurance funds, self-insurance or self-insured groups.

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Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.