Suzy Lamplugh Trust issues safety advice to hospitality staff

By Hannah Thompson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Suzy Lamplugh Trust issues safety advice to hospitality staff
Stay aware of colleagues’ behaviour, use a staff ‘buddy system’, and limit the personal information given to guests – that’s the main workplace safety advice for hospitality businesses, according to The Suzy Lamplugh Trust.

The safety charity – named after 25-year-old estate agent Suzy Lamplugh, who disappeared without trace in 1986 while showing an unknown client around a house in the middle of the day ‒ has released new advice to staff in the workplace to herald its new Right to Be Safe Appeal.

The Trust now works to raise standards of safety in the workplace, and campaigns on safety issues to help minimise staff risk and improve personal security.

It advises that staff within hospitality are as entitled as any employees to have a safe place to work, with measures applied to increase the personal safety of those working in risky environments such as kitchens, or in front-line roles with the general public.

Recommendations

Recommendations for staff include being aware of their environment and others’ behaviour, working in pairs or groups where possible, using first names only with guests, and applying a zero-tolerance approach to aggression or violence.

Employers must also ensure that staff are giving personal safety training, investigate any incidents, carry out risk assessments including emergency exits, and must always provide a safe place to work.

The Trust has highlighted figures showing that in 2014-15, 142 people were killed at work in the UK, and 76,000 injuries to employees were reported, including mental health stresses, anxiety and depression.

This was most often caused by ‘dealing with difficult customers’, along with risks incurred from heavy lifting, chemical substances, slips, trips or falls, and operating machinery.

A representative for the Trust commented: “We cannot afford to be complacent about personal safety in the workplace.”

Founded by parents Paul and Diana Lamplugh soon after their daughter’s disappearance, The Suzy Lamplugh Trust has since sought to keep people safe from violence and aggression in the workplace and home.

It has since campaigned on issues such as private hire vehicle licensing; harassment and stalking (including helping to bring in the Protection from Harassment Act in 1997); personal injury, stress and anxiety at work.

Full list of tips for hospitality staff and businesses

  • Consider exit points – can you get out safely in the event of an emergency?
  • Be aware of people’s behaviour, and how it can change, e.g. with alcohol
  • Don’t allow clients or guests into kitchen or staff only spaces
  • Consider carrying a personal alarm
  • Open up/close the site in pairs where possible
  • If lone working must occur, use a buddy/tracing system so people aren’t forgotten about or left alone for too long
  • Be aware of the personal information you give clients and guests
    - If you wear a name badge, consider just using a first name to reduce the potential of being tracked down by a client
    - If you stay onsite, don’t tell guests where you stay
  • Remember, violence and aggression are unacceptable, and must always be reported

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