Health and Safety in the UK Hotel Industry
By Rob Elvin Managing Partner, Squire Patton Boggs | November 29, 2015
*Co-authored by Stephanie Perraton, Partner, Squire Patton Boggs.
There have been a significant number of cases reported in the press recently in relation to hotels that are being prosecuted for health and safety breaches. The increased visibility of such cases highlights a need for stronger emphasis on compliance within the industry.
This article aims to increase awareness of health and safety issues amongst hoteliers by examining key health and safety obligations in relations to hotels; considering the legal, reputational and financial impact of failures to comply with health and safety duties; and providing some practical examples of how to ensure compliance with legal obligations.
The reality of health and safety risks faced by the hotel industry was highlighted last month when the Telegraph reported on a fire at one of the most iconic hotels in Grosvenor Square. The fire started at the hotel, which houses a celebrity chef's Michelin-starred restaurant, during an awards' ceremony. All guests had to be evacuated. In that case, procedures were followed and there were no injuries.
What Happens When It All Goes Wrong?
On-going and recent prosecutions demonstrate that health and safety failings can, however, have tragic consequences for guests (and staff) and that enforcement authorities will not shirk from prosecuting those who they believe to be responsible.
There are two well publicised cases currently awaiting trial, which are prime examples of health and safety issues within hotels and the press coverage that can result:
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