The hospitality industry has to be highly regulated and follow licensing objectives in order to ensure that the business is operating responsibly. They have a duty to their staff, customers, and the local community to act conscientiously and keep everyone safe. The health and safety concerns within these establishments can be serious so let’s get into it.
When it comes to protecting the health and safety of your staff and patrons, there are a number of preventative measures that you can put in place. Firstly, you should regularly review your processes and operating schedule to ensure that you are meeting the requirements of your license. After that, you might want to consider the design and layout of your premises. You need to design it in a way to limit the opportunities for violence or chaos. Realistically, this means fewer blind spots or areas prone to congestion. An open plan is arguably the best option.
In addition to practical preventative measures, you also need to think about what you and your staff can do. For example, door staff and bouncers are a must; they can follow capacities to make sure the place doesn’t get too crowded and get involved should any patrons cause trouble. The bar staff needs to be trained in responsible alcohol retailing, how to spot drug use, and conflict management. Staff training is not necessarily something that you can do in-house. Check out these health andsafety training courses from iHasco to ensure that your staff are properly trained.
The truth is that any time alcohol is involved, there is a chance that things could escalate in an unsafe or downright dangerous way. It is human nature; alcohol lowers inhibitions. Licensed premises are at the will of their customers, and frankly, they cannot be counted on to act one way or another.
Arguably the biggest risk is violence. If your bar or pub hosts sporting events, then there is the chance for rivalry, which could escalate when one team inevitably loses. There are also rivalries between groups of people or individuals to look out for. These incidences can quickly turn into fights without the proper de-escalation procedures in place.
Next up, unfortunately, there is always a risk to your staff. They are often at the receiving end of drunken belligerence and abuse. Physical and verbal abuse should not be tolerated against your staff. A number of things can set your customers off, from being asked for ID to drunkenness or refusing entrance. Again, you need to train your staff in de-escalating these incidences.
Excessive drunkenness or your patrons being under the influence of drugs can also affect their behaviour and put your staff at risk. Your staff should be trained to spot the signs of drug use in a person’s demeanour. Oftentimes, users won’t necessarily be subtle, and tell-tale signs include gurning and odd-sized pupils.
The truth is that working with the general public is often unpredictable, especially when alcohol is involved. Therefore, in order to maintain a fun, positive, and safe atmosphere for both patrons and staff alike, you need to ensure that your employees have received the proper training.