6 Health and Safety Trends Every Hotelier Must Watch in 2016

As spring and summer approach, hotel owners prepare for steady crowds of business and leisurely travelers. The coming year will be shaped by several noteworthy trends, each presenting a unique challenge that must be addressed to secure long-term health and safety, and profitability. From data privacy to employee safety and terror preparedness, this list highlights the top 6 trends every hotelier must watch over the coming year.

1. Data Privacy

In the wake of the Panama Papers, business owners across every industry need to give thoughtful consideration to data privacy. Hotels are big targets for cybercrime because they take credit card information and store personal data for use in promotional marketing and rewards programs. A data breach can put a hotel under, causing a significant blow to revenue and reputation.

Perhaps worst of all, irreparable harm can befall guests who lose their identity and credit lines to cybercriminals. One way to ensure protection is to keep all software up to date. Though this advice seems obvious, it is often overlooked and was recently cited as the possible cause of the biggest data leak in history.

2. Bacteria

Fresh sheets and sanitized bathrooms are not the only things hoteliers need to worry about. Health and hygiene concerns apply to every facet of the business, not just the furniture, fixtures, and food with which guests make direct contact. HVAC systems, water filters, and other utility systems must be routinely inspected to ensure compliance with all state and federal sanitation requirements. Failure to do so can be fatal.

The Harrison Group learned this lesson firsthand in 2011 when 6 guests of the Plim Plaza Hotel fell sick with Legionnaires Disease, a deadly condition that investigators linked with traces of legionella bacteria in the hotel’s water system.

3. Employee Comfort, Health, and Safety

Travel is an experience. Savvy hoteliers understand that long-term reputation and profitability hinges on the ability of each employee to deliver exceptional service to every guest. As such, hoteliers must adopt a proactive strategy for creating and maintaining employee satisfaction, health, and safety.

One way to build satisfaction among employees is to make service areas an inviting and comfortable place to work. Anti-fatigue mats soften floors for receptionists, bartenders, and other employees who have direct interaction with guests while spending long hours on their feet.

Additionally, living plants like Bamboo Palm, Chinese Evergreen, Dracaena, English Ivy, and Peace Lily can be used to soften the feel of offices and other employee areas while also providing the added benefit of naturally improving indoor air quality (IAQ).

Finally, hoteliers must recognize investments in health and safety as a means to nurture and maximize the revenue potential of their most valuable assets: Employees. Identifying hazards, eliminating risk exposure, and conducting ongoing employee training programs are vital components of maintaining health and safety.

Various free resources are available to hotel owners via OSHA.gov, the Department of Labor’s website for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Hotel owners may also schedule on-site consultations with OSHA to discover potential workplace hazards, review existing safety protocols, and even qualify for a one-year exemption from routine OSHA inspections. Requests can be made online using the OSHA Consultation Directory.

4. Proactive Risk Assessment and Planning

Of course, facilities and surrounding properties are not static fixtures. New amenities, fresh personnel, unseasonable weather, and changes to food and beverage services are just a few of the most common ways that new equipment, protocols, and risks may work their way into operations. Ongoing risk assessment and planning is imperative, challenging all members of management and staff to proactively look for new workplace hazards that may cause injury.

OSHA offers a unique tool designed to train stakeholders to remain alert for different types of operational hazards, which can be accessed for free and used during employee training sessions and meetings throughout the year. For more information, visit the OSHA Hazard Identification Tool online.

5. Domestic Terror and Criminal Activity

Global acts of terrorism are a real threat to the citizens of the world. Hoteliers are wise to rise and face this challenge head-on, creating safety protocols designed to protect staff and guests in the event of an attack. Safety protocols should include methods of preparing, responding, and recovering from acts of terror. Hotel owners are advised to review and drill terror response protocols as frequently as needed to ensure all staff members are ready, able, and effective in the event of an emergency. For additional tips on preparing for terror-related emergencies, visit the following resource on RedCross.org.

6. Slip and Fall Accident Prevention

American businesses lost approximately $17 billion to slip and fall-related injuries in 2015, according to estimates published in the 2016 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index. In total, debilitating slips and falls have increased by nearly 20% since 2012, according to statistics gathered by previous Workplace Safety Indices. Outdoor matting recessed vestibule grill systems, and entryway runner mats are among the 3 most cost-effective tools hoteliers can use to proactively manage this growing problem.

Outside, rubber scraper mats provide a tough and squeegee-like surface that aggressively removes dirt and debris from shoe bottoms. Inside lobby vestibules, recessed grill mats provide a second line of defense that captures incoming debris within a recessed compartment below the walking surface. An industrial-grade solution, recessed grill systems are ideal for hotels that experience a high degree of foot traffic and severe weather. Inside the entryway, carpet runner mats create a third and final zone in which guests can give their shoes a final wipe for extra traction before walking across smooth lobby floors. When implemented properly, it is estimated that up to 60% of all incoming debris and microbes can be effectively captured and contained by properly positioned commercial matting.

Credits: This article has been produced by Eagle Mat and Floor Products, the Internet’s leading online retailer of ergonomic floor mats and safety products.

Are Hotels implementing effective Health and Safety strategies?

Surprise and delight are what makes dreams come true.


Facebook Native Advertising will help Hotels redefine the customer experience. Take advantage of new innovative strategies that will improve your Hotels ROI.

FREE access to our Hotel Social Media Community – Get more insights and training about Facebook Native Ads for Hotels!

Our Social Media Management team has refined these processes to help Hotels. Contact us today to learn more.

Join our Free Hotel Social Media Community on Facebook for more in-depth insight.

Try something new it will magnetize your Hotel!

Be flexible and identify new ways to make guests happy.

As guest behavior and pattern continues to evolve, expectations will continue to rise. Navigating these changes can be challenging. Learn more about how we can help your Hotel.

About the author

Are Morch is the founder and owner of Are Morch – Hotel Marketing Coach. Get more from Are on Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Pinterest | Instagram| Podcast