Hospitality Staffing and the Unique Risks You Should Know About
Hospitality staffing: not always so hospitable?
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, hospitality placements are expected to rise 10% over the next 8 years. Whether this is an industry you already serve or are looking to expand into, it’s imperative to understand the top risks from an insurance perspective.
While these placements may be niche-specific and seemingly easy to control compared to, say, a light industrial firm working with dozens or hundreds of manufacturers and unique environments, there are reasons hospitality placements present their own level of concern to underwriters.
Here are some of the top risks you should know about:
1. Unwitnessed Accidents
Housekeepers and maintenance crew commonly work alone without supervision, meaning injuries can occur when no one else is present. This leads to difficulty completing proper accident investigation, evaluating causation and defending questionable injuries.
2. Heavy Lifting
One of the top workers’ compensation injuries for hospitality workers is sprain/strains from heavy lifting. Temps are often working alone lifting mattresses, sorting laundry/linens, and even arranging hotel furniture. Back strains are one of the most complicated and expensive injuries due to the need for ongoing treatment and slower recovery.
3. Slip and Falls
Another common injury mechanism for hospitality staff is slip and falls, often while cleaning the bathtubs, doing laundry or mopping. Maintenance team members also have added exposures associated with working at heights. While they may only be a few feet in the air changing a light bulb, it doesn’t take much elevation to create a significant injury.
4. Theft of Guest Property from Hotel Room
Terms of the staffing contract often leave the staffing company responsible for theft of guest property from the hotel rooms – whether or not the responsible party can be identified, and regardless if others had access to the room. While these individual incidents may not be significant claims, the losses occur frequently and can add up to a significant cost.
5. Liability Claims Brought by Hotel Guests
Slip & falls, injury due to improper upkeep of the premises, food handling/food related illness, etc. are claims commonly brought against the hotel, then tendered to the staffing firm based on the terms of the staffing services contract. When entering into a new contract, how often do you evaluate the exposures assumed via the indemnification language you're agreeing to? Do your liability policies provide proper coverage for staffing employees as well as clients?
It’s vital to understand the complexities of the specific industry you provide staffing services to, and to know how the exposures align with your safety program, training initiatives and insurance coverages. Each of the above exposures can be minimized with proper initiatives both pre-claim and post-loss.
There are also state-specific regulations to be aware of surrounding the hospitality staffing industry, such as Cal/OSHA’s standard on Hotel Housekeeping Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention.
If you’re unsure how your current coverages or procedures stack up, reach out to a member of the 'A' Team today.
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