Elevate Hotel Safety With Panic Buttons

Take Workplace Safety to the Next Level with Panic Buttons

hotel panic buttons

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), nearly 2 million American workers are victims of workplace violence each year.  Employees who exchange money with the public, those who work alone, employees who work in small groups, those who work late night or early morning hours are most at risk.  Recent surveys show that those working in Hospitality are vulnerable to harassments and assaults, especially employees who work in guest rooms.  Hotel housekeepers are often required to work late hours, early mornings and are often separated from their teams, putting them at risk of being exposed to violence while at work.  9 out of 10 Hospitality workers have suffered some type of abuse during their dealings with guests and hotels need to find ways to reduce the likelihood of these incidences occurring.

What can Hotels and Other Businesses Do?

OSHA recommends that businesses establish a workplace violence prevention program or update their existing accident prevention program, employee handbook, or manual of standard operating procedures.  It’s also crucial for hotels and other businesses to ensure that employees know and fully understand the violence prevention policy.  It is recommended that businesses like hotels install video surveillance and alarm systems, employ security guards, and utilize identification cards to increase security at the workplace.  Businesses can also equip staff with cellular phones, handheld alarms, noise devices and keep in contact with employees in order to be notified of their location throughout the day.

While these methods are helpful in reducing violence, hotels have unique concerns, especially for housekeepers.  90% of hotel housekeepers are women, they are often required to work alone and may be required to work alone in guest rooms while guests are present.  With the current labor shortage and budget constraints that hotels are experiencing, hotel employees are more at risk, as hotels are having to do more with less resources.  To ensure the safety of these and other employees, hotels should seriously consider equipping them with employee safety devices like panic buttons. Panic buttons can offer employees who are in threatening or emergency situations with assistance in minutes.  With a single press, panic button devices will provide precise location details of employees who are in distress, allowing security personnel to respond immediately.

What are Panic Buttons/Employee Safety Devices?

hotel panic buttons 1

Panic buttons are employee safety devices that can be carried by employees, with the press of a button these devices can identify the specific location of the employee and dispatch security and emergency personnel within minutes.  Panic button devices can be carried by employees to ensure that they are easily accessible during an emergency, they can be worn around the neck or attached to belts and other clothing.  During an emergency, employees can activate panic buttons and a silent alarm with the employee’s location, including floor and room number will be immediately transmitted.  In the event that the employee in distress changes location, panic button technology enables real time updates to ensure that responders can locate employees quickly.

Hotel Panic Buttons are a Legal Obligation

In recent years, numerous states and local municipalities have passed hotel panic button laws that require hotels to provide employees with safety devices/panic buttons.  States such as New Jersey and Washington have passed laws requiring the distribution of employee safety devices to hotel workers.  Cities such as Long Beach and Miami Beach have also passed similar hotel panic button laws to ensure that employees feel safe and are protected while at work.  In addition, major hotel brands like Marriott have also developed their own employee safety device requirements that require their properties to develop an employee safety program and equip employees with safety devices.  While hotel panic button laws and deadlines differ depending on the location, each law has similar requirements.

Employee Safety Device/Panic Buttons Should Include:

  • Employee safety devices should have reliable geolocation capability with the ability to locate employees down to room-level accuracy.
  • Panic buttons should have the capability to dispatch responders immediately when an emergency alert is sent.
  • Panic button devices should be easily activated by a single action like a push, pull or tap. They must provide a sustained signal without delays caused by entering passwords or waiting for the system to turn on.
  • Panic button devices should consistently work in all locations, including guest rooms, public restrooms and areas that require employees to be alone with guests.

Vendor Spotlight: RelayPro 

Hotel panic buttons are a new requirement for hotels, but they don’t have to be a new expense. RelayPro was recently approved by Marriott, IHG and Choice hotels and has been installed in nearly 2,000 properties.  RelayPro is BOTH a 4G/Wi-Fi walkie talkie and a cutting-edge panic button with VOICE communication.

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