Monthly Archives: March 2011

Hospitality Industry Accident Risks: Texas Hotel Sued For Negligence In Guest “Slip And Fall” Injury

Pomrenke accuses Homewood Suites of negligence for not warning customers of the dangers of the wet floor or offering an alternative route around the area. She asks for an unspecified amount of money in damages for medical costs, loss of income and court fees. Pomrenke represents herself in this matter and asks for a jury trial.

A Harris County woman is suing a Memorial hotel after she allegedly dislocated her knee when she slipped on a wet lobby floor. Emily L. Pomrenke filed a lawsuit March 28 in Harris County District Court against Homewood Suites Hilton-Austin South.

According to the petition, Pomrenke was a guest of the Homewood Suites in April 2009. As she was walking in the hotel lobby with her son in the early afternoon, Pomrenke says, she slipped on the wet marble floor that had just been cleaned by the hotel staff. She alleges she dislocated her knee, bruised her tailbone and tore a retina in her right eye in the fall. Pomrenke claims an accident report was written up by the hotel manager and that she received a phone call from the hotel’s insurance carrier, which told her Homewood Suites would take full responsibility for the accident.

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Hotel Pool Safety Risks: “Heavily Drinking Man” Drowns At Florida Hotel “Music Week Festival” Pool Party

The busy Miami Music Week festival claimed at least one life this weekend when a man drowned during a pool party at the Clevelander hotel. The 40-year-old man from out of town was swimming in the hotel’s pool after drinking heavily and drowned. The hotel was hosting the Nervous Pool Party at the time.

CBSMiami reports that the drowning occurred late Sunday afternoon. The man slipped below the surface, and despite efforts by onlookers to save him and perform CPR, he died.

The station also reports that the man and his friends were believed to be drinking heavily before going in the pool.

The Nervous Pool Party 2 was headlined by superstar DJs like Oscar G, Ralph Falcon, and Junior Sanchez.

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Hospitality Industry Legal Compliance Issues: Hotels Must Be Compliant With “Americans With Disabilities Act” (ADA) Regulations Including “Mobility Issues” For “Devices Other Than Wheelchairs”

Federal law requires hotels to give people with mobility issues access to their properties, including allowing them to use devices other than wheelchairs as long as they do not raise legitimate safety concerns. The type, size and speed of the device, along with the amount of pedestrian traffic all factor into the decision.

One major change deals with the information available to people making room reservations. The idea is that people with disabilities should be able to book hotel rooms with the same efficiency, immediacy and convenience as those who do not need accessible guest rooms. The provision applies whether people are making reservations by phone, in person, on a website or though a third-party provider such as a travel agent or OTA.

Hotels must identify and describe the hotel’s accessible features in enough detail so potential guests can determine if the hotel can meet their needs, McCullough said.

Hotels also have an obligation to hold accessible guest rooms for people with disabilities unless all other guestrooms of that type have been rented. For example, McCullough said, if a hotel has 25 double-bed rooms and two are designated accessible, the reservation service must rent all 23 of non-accessible before it rents the two to people without disabilities. The rule does not apply to unique rooms such as a penthouse or bridal suite.

The difficulty is making sure that the reservation system accommodates this requirement, since the rule applies to reservations made through all channels.

“That will be a technical hurdle for your companies to leap over within the 11 months,” McCullough said. “I hope you are working on this particular issue.”

Another change requires that hotels honor a specific guest room request from customers with disabilities, even if it’s a policy of a hotel to not hold specific rooms.

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Hospitality Industry Guest Security: Hotel Security Depends On Management Adopting A “Global Security Program”

Effective security and risk management relies on a foundation of principles including critical rapid data flow, standardization of emergency protocols, executive leadership and effective local management, not luck. We can guarantee only that attacks against hotels will happen again. The nature of the hospitality industry offers porous, soft, attractive targets.

The corporate security departments of most major hotel brands are not budgeted to provide the effective layers of detection or deterrence required to minimize this risk. A cautious examination of the major world economies reveals the first early signs of improvement. This presents an opportunity for major brands to offer an enhanced measure of security to their important customer base. We should consider that the safety of business and recreational travel is on the minds of everyone who boards a plane and visits or stays as a guest in your facilities. Comfortably resolving this sense of uneasiness is good business.

There are several critical elements required to create an effective hotel global security program:

•    security risk management software (global command and control);
•    security management standardization by venue;
•    new generation security equipment with software analytics; and
•    training.

Management methods that increase margins and reduce the risk of crime, terror, accidents and incidents, can be summarized by four words: global command and control.

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Filed under Crime, Guest Issues, Injuries, Insurance, Liability, Management And Ownership, Privacy, Risk Management, Technology

Hotel Industry Employee Injury Risks: Video From The “Health And Safety Authority” In Ireland Demonstrates “Risk Factors” Associated With Housekeepers Handling Of Laundry

  • Manual Handling Case Study 15 Handling Hotel Linen
  • On Screen Text: Manual Handling: Handling of linen in a hotel bedroom
  • Hotel employee removing linen from hotel bedroom
  • Scene 1:
    A hotel employee has just finished changing the linen on a bed. He walks out of the hotel room and down a corridor to throw the linen into an already-full black bag. He then throws the bag over his shoulder and down the corridor further, and throws the black bag into a lift. The lift is already full of other black linen bags.
  • On Screen Text:
    Need to carry out a risk assessment of this task
    Look at how the job is carried out
    Collect information: Load weight, etc
    Identify risk factors with the job
    Make changes to improve the job
  • On Screen Text:
    Risk Factors/Problems
  • Scene 2:
    Still image of character throwing the bag into the lift. Large Red “X” marks indicate the risk factors with the job.
    Load is too heavy
    Load is too large
    Difficult to grasp
    Physical effort is too strenuous
    Bending and twisting of the trunk
  • On Screen Text:
    The new system of work: Assess risk to reduce and reorganise manual handling
  • Scene 3:
    The hotel employee put the used bed linen into a linen trolley, rolls the trolley out of the room and down the corridor to the waiting lift. He rolls the trolley into the lift.
  • On Screen Text:
    Manual Handling : Assess to avoid, reduce or reorganise

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Filed under Health, Injuries, Labor Issues, Liability, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Training

Hotel Industry Information Security Risks: California Hotel Employees Union Files Suit Over Identification Cards “Encoded With Social Security Numbers”

Disney hotel union members submitted Tuesday a petition with about 1,400 signatures to managers, seeking changes to their employee cards that they say would protect them against identity theft.

Unite Here Local 11, the union that represents about 2,100 hotel workers, is fighting to change identification cards that have encoded Social Security numbers, which can be read by smartphone apps and other devices.

Already last month, the union filed a federal class action lawsuit, claiming that the cards violate state law. Union members collected signatures to emphasize that the majority of hotel workers want an immediate change to their ID cards, rather than a few listed on the lawsuit. Leigh Shelton, a union spokeswoman, said some other unions also are supporting the cause, but they did not participate in this petition.

About 20 workers took their petition to the Disney administration building in Anaheim on Tuesday morning.

“This is a very serious problem that we hope they resolve immediately,” said Eddie Chavez, a union organizer and Disneyland Hotel bellman.

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Hospitality Industry Workers Comp Risks: Virginia Hotel Employee Awarded Workers Comp Benefits After Fall In Restroom Injures Shoulder Already Receiving Medical Treatment

The Virginia Court of Appeals found that a cook’s right shoulder injury was not related to a preexisting condition so it awarded him benefits.

  • A cook for a hotel slipped on a wet floor in the restroom at his workplace and fell, hitting his right shoulder against a sink.
  • Before the fall, he sought medical treatment for right shoulder pain.
  • He required further treatment after the fall and sought benefits.
  • The hotel argued that there was no causal connection between the cook’s fall at work and his shoulder injury and that his injury was a preexisting condition.
  • The Virginia Court of Appeals disagreed and awarded benefits to the cook.

The court said the cook had different diagnoses and treatments before and after the fall. The court noted that the cook was undergoing treatment for tendonitis before the fall and was diagnosed with a right shoulder strain, contusion, and sprain after the fall. The cook received injections both before and after the fall, but they consisted of different drugs. Additionally, the surgical recommendations before and after the fall differed.

The hotel also argued that the cook failed to disclose his prior shoulder injury to two doctors, so their opinions should not have been relied on. The court disagreed. One doctor noted that the cook’s past medical history was “noncontributory,” and the second noted that it was “negative.” The court said these terms did not necessarily establish that the cook did not inform the doctors of his previous shoulder problems. Rather, the terms could have been interpreted to indicate a lack of foundation for alternative causation.

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