If you are planning to open a hospitality business, you are legally required to ensure the health and safety of your guests, staff and anybody else on the premises. If you do not implement suitable measures, you run the risk of facing legal action and potentially ruining the reputation of your business. Health and safety measures do not have to be complex; with a few simple steps, you can work out a suitable health and safety policy to safeguard yourself against legal issues and protect people from unnecessary risks.
Fire safety is one of the most important factors to think about in any hotel or guest house, and you are legally required to carry out a fire risk assessment, make improvements where necessary, and continue to keep a close eye on your safety arrangements, making changes where necessary. If you employ five or more people in your business, you are legally obligated to keep a written record of what you find during the assessment.
To begin with, you will need to consider the potential ways a fire could start on your premises and take steps to minimise the risk; for example, ensuring that fuels and flammable materials are stored well away from heat sources such as ovens and heaters. It is also crucial to ensure that your electrical appliances are well maintained and in full working order. Regular PAT testing will help this.
After taking steps to minimise the risk, you need to consider what you will do if the worst does happen and a fire breaks out. Ensure that guests and staff can easiy find their way out and have a designated meeting point. Invest in smoke alarms and fire extinguishers and place them throughout the hotel, making sure they are tested regularly.
As part of health and safety, it is crucial sure you are fully insured before opening the hotel. There are various insurance packages designed specifically for hospitality businesses, covering public and employers’ liability insurance as well as the contents of the property. As specialists in hotel, bed and breakfast and guest house finance, we can assist you with this aspect.