Employers putting over-worked staff at risk

By Becky Paskin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Occupational safety and health

Employers putting over-worked staff at risk
Most hospitality workers face immense pressure to complete their work, putting their health at risk, says a new EU report

Half of all hospitality workers feel they do not have enough time to complete their work, which they describe as ‘monotonous’ and requiring ‘little initiative’.

According to a new EU report​ highlighting the risks of working in the hotels, restaurants and catering sectors (Horeca) in Europe, 75 per cent of staff say they must work at high speeds to keep up with work pressures, but are more likely to complain about it to a colleague rather than a supervisor.

The report identifies other risks of working in the industry as the physically demanding nature of the work, where chefs, waitresses and bar staff must stand for prolonged periods, as well as carry and lift heavy objects, often with repetitive movements.

It also recognises that while 30 per cent of hospitality workers are consistently exposed to high noise levels, more than four per cent would describe the volume as putting their health at risk.

John McClean, national health and safety officer for workers union GMB​, said: “Far too many employers are negligent when it comes to looking after the health, safety and welfare of their employees. The solution however is actually very easy. None of these problems, whether it is lifting to heavy a load, standing to long, suffering verbal and physical abuse, exposure to chemicals, lack of personal protective equipment, long hours and split shifts, is unforeseeable. Every one of them is an every day occurrence.”

While GMB recommends employers involve their staff in the process of undertaking risk assessments in order to eliminate workplace hazards, the report suggests management should commit to making safety a priority through training.

The report also recommends that large-scale initiatives should be launched on regional, national or sector levels to ensure employers understand what successful risk prevention entails.

Related topics: Legislation

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