Tag Archives: Injury Prevention

Hospitality Industry Insurance Update: “Think Your Workers’ Compensation Covers Everything? Think Again!”

Consider the risks involved when an employee travels overseas for work. Courts have often ruled that an injury or illness that an employee suffers while on short term assignment away from home—even if he or she is not working when it occurs—is work-related.workers comp But a basic workers’ compensation policy will probably not cover this type of claim. A foreign workers’ compensation policy will. Although no law requires employers to provide this coverage, you risk paying medical and lost-time costs out of pocket if you do not have coverage and a traveling employee becomes injured.

You might think your workers’ compensation covers all work-related injuries and illnesses. This could prove a costly mistake.

In most cases, workers’ compensation will cover work-related injuries and illnesses. But in certain special circumstances—which might apply to your company—the basic workers’ compensation policy will not provide coverage. This could leave your company on the hook for a costly workers’ compensation claim.

For more: http://bit.ly/1ycd3fF

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Filed under Employee Benefits, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Injuries, Insurance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management

Hospitality Industry Risk Solutions: Hotel Housekeeping Carts Are Now Smaller Leading To Increased Room Security, Less Employee Injuries And Reduction In Amenity And Towel Theft

 “Items are not exposed to people walking through hallways so theft of amenity items or towels is greatly reduced…there’s a safety issue, too…Housekeeping staff would park the larger carts outside and keep the door open while they cleaned…not so with the Hotel Housekeeping Safety & Securitysmaller version…the guest comes back and sees the door wide open (and would) think anyone can get in the room…”

“Linen closets (are now) situated closer to the rooms for easy access, eliminating the need for the larger carts. The housekeeping staff has been more productive with the smaller carts because they can move around more quickly, he says. They’re also less prone to injury as the larger carts were heavy to push around…”

Big, rolling housekeeping carts are disappearing from many hotel hallways, just like the floral polyester linens they used to carry. Hotels say they’re replacing cumbersome carts with smaller ones sometimes akin to golf caddie bags out? of necessity, in addition to convenience and even appearance.

Among those saying goodbye to the hall-blocking carts: The Staybridge Suites Times Square in New York, The Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte and the Renaissance Charlotte SouthPark Hotel.

Hotel general managers say there are a number of reasons why smaller is better.

  • Hotels don’t use duvets and bulky linens anymore, so there’s no need for large carts, they say. Plus, storage space is at a premium, and smaller carts don’t take up much space.
  • The bags are small enough to take into the room and leave the hallways clear and safe. They also don’t nick the walls of elevators and corridors like the large carts did.
  • But more important, the guests prefer them, says Rich Hotter, general manager of the Staybridge Suites Times Square.

For more:  http://www.usatoday.com/story/hotelcheckin/2013/05/10/hotels-housekeeping-carts/2146993/

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Filed under Guest Issues, Injuries, Insurance, Labor Issues, Liability, Maintenance, Risk Management, Theft

Hospitality Industry Safety Risks: Texas Hotel Guest Files “Negligence Lawsuit” After Marble Tile In Elevator Falls On Child Causing “Serious Injuries”

“…as (plaintiff)  stepped off the hotel elevator, a large marble tile fell from a wall and onto the child’s head, Hospitality Industry Lawsuitchest and leg.  His bodily injuries were serious, permanent and disabling…”

An Oklahoma woman claims her son was injured at a Galveston hotel and is seeking damages in a suit against the owner. Shawna Martin filed a lawsuit against Neel Shah Hospitality Inc. on Jan. 25 in Galveston County District Court.

According to the suit, Martin and her 8-year-old son were on vacation in Galveston on Jan. 14, 2007, and the boy was injured at the at the Comfort Inn & Suites in the 6300 block of Seawall Boulevard.

“Allowing a loose tile which was inadequately secured to the wall….. posed an unreasonable risk of harm and the defendant had constructive knowledge of that risk,” the original petition says.

The defendant is blamed for:

  • Failing to properly and adequately secure the mirror to the wall;
  • Failing to perform an adequate inspection to determine whether there was a hazard present;
  • Failing to repair said mirror; and
  • Failing to warn.

For more:  http://setexasrecord.com/news/281053-woman-sues-galveston-hotel-after-marble-tile-strikes-son

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Hospitality Industry Safety Risks: Gas Fireplace Manufacturers To Provide “Protective Screens” To Prevent Severe Burns From “Scorching Glass Fronts”

“…Under the voluntary standard, the glass is allowed to reach temperatures as high as 500 degrees or 1,328 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the type of glass used. Up to now, most manufacturers have not provided Hotel Glass Fireplacesscreens or prominent safety warnings out of fear of marring the aesthetic appeal of fireplaces or scaring off customers…”

Some have argued that the risks of a fireplace are so obvious that keeping kids safe is simply a matter of good parenting and common sense. However, some child burn victims were hotel guests whose parents had no experience with gas fireplaces.

Fred Stephens’ 11-month-old daughter Lila had to have skin grafts on both palms after suffering third-degree burns from fireplace glass at a resort in the Wisconsin Dells in 2010.

To stave off regulation and lawsuits over severe burns to toddlers, manufacturers will provide protective screens as standard equipment with new gas fireplaces. The industry has revised its voluntary guidelines to call for the addition of mesh screens attached to new fireplaces to prevent contact with the scorching glass fronts.

Fireplace makers will have a long lead time — until Jan. 1, 2015 — to provide screens with new units, though companies are already retooling to do it sooner, said Tom Stroud, a senior manager with the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association.

As reported by FairWarning, more than 2,000 children age 5 and under were injured by contact with the unprotected glass in a recent 10-year period, according to a federal database. The injuries triggered at least a dozen lawsuits and scrutiny by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

For more:  http://www.oregonlive.com/health/index.ssf/2012/12/new_gas_fireplaces_to_get_safe.html

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Filed under Claims, Guest Issues, Injuries, Insurance, Liability, Maintenance, Risk Management

Hospitality Industry Safety Risks: Hotel Fined $70,000 After Employee Loses Fingers During “Routine Test Of Emergency Generator Equipment”

“…a Toronto Hilton employee saw a leak during a routine test on the hotel’s emergency generator equipment. As he leaned in to get a better look, his hand slipped into a fan. The fan’s blades cut off his fingers…”

A hotel company has been fined $70,000 after one of its workers lost some of his fingers on the job.

Justice of the Peace Kevin Madigan fined Northstar Hospitality GP Inc., which owns the Hilton hotel, for violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Northstar Hospitality pleaded guilty for failing to ensure the generator’s parts were guarded.

The court added a 25 per cent surcharge to the fine, which goes toward a provincial government fund for victims of crimes.

For more:  http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1279358–hotel-owner-fined-70-000-after-worker-loses-fingers

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Filed under Injuries, Insurance, Labor Issues, Liability, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management

Hospitality Industry Guest Safety: Hotels And Resorts Face Lawsuits Over Severe Burns To Children From Guest Room “Glass Fireplaces”; Glass Can Reach Temperatures Of 400 Degrees

“…more than 2,000 children ages 5 and younger have suffered burns from fireplace glass since 1999, according to a federal estimate. Some burn specialists think the actual toll is higher…”

“…(one) lawsuit, filed this June in federal court in Denver, seeks damages from several fireplace companies along with operators of the resort. They knew “these fireplaces would be installed at heights for which the decorative glass front was perfectly suited to contact by infants and small children,” the lawsuit states, yet “took no steps to guard against direct contact with the super-heated glass or to meaningfully warn about the extreme…burn potential.”

Citing the “extreme risk of injury,” the American Burn Association, representing burn surgeons, nurses and therapists, last week became the latest to call for adoption of a mandatory safety standard. It joins such groups as Consumers Union and the Consumer Federation of America.

The glass commonly reaches temperatures of 400 degrees, as hot as an oven on broil, and is usually placed at a perfect height for curious toddlers to touch or fall into. These encounters can easily result in skin graft surgery and painful recovery, with medical costs in the six figures. One safety expert called it an “insidious and unappreciated hazard.”

Consumer groups and anguished parents are urging the Consumer Product Safety Commission to impose federal safety regulations. But the fireplace industry, which up to now has policed itself, is resisting. To head off federal regulation and more lawsuits from families of burned kids, manufacturers are working on a revision to their current voluntary standard that will be taken up by an industry technical panel on Dec. 13.

For more:  http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/nationworld/report/121211_fireplace_burns_regs/fireplace-industry-resists-regulation-over-child-burns/

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Hospitality Industry Liability Risks: Colorado Supreme Court Upholds $10 Million Award To Truck Driver Who “Slipped And Fell On Ice And Grease”

 “…A truck driver who slipped and fell on ice and grease while making a delivery to a Wal-Mart store in northern Colorado can collect a nearly $10 million award after the state Supreme Court upheld a jury verdict in the case on Monday…”

The driver, 41-year-old Holly Averyt of Cheyenne, Wyo., had to undergo three spine surgeries, was unable to return to work and lost her truck. Her lawyers presented city documents during the original trial that showed some grease from the store’s deli didn’t get trapped in a device designed to keep it from getting into the sewer.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., told jurors there had been no grease spill at the store in Greeley.

A jury awarded $15 million to Averyt in November 2010. Wal-Mart appealed and a lower court granted the company a new trial, saying the award was “excessive, not supported by the evidence and could only be the result of prejudice and bias and the jury’s desire to punish Wal-Mart.”

For more:  http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57320005/wal-mart-to-pay-trucker-$10m-for-greasy-ice-fall/

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Filed under Guest Issues, Injuries, Insurance, Liability, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management