Keeping hospitality and foodservice staff safe and well

You’ll often hear about our industry’s focus on customer service, but hospitality managers know that a business can’t function without happy, healthy staff. To help managers address one of the primary health complaints that can affect our industry, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has just released a new guide on Preventing contact dermatitis and urticaria at work. These conditions are as unpleasant as they sound and can make affected individuals’ lives a misery from the conditions’ resulting irritation, pain and inflammation. Often hands are affected and the appearance of dermatitis can make sufferers very self-conscious so there can be mental as well a physical side effects.

Dermatitis and urticaria can affect everyday activities
Dermatitis and urticaria can affect everyday activities and cause physical and emotional damage

According to  the HSE, dermatitis and urticaria are “defined as inflammation of the skin resulting from exposure to detergents, toiletries, chemicals and even natural products, for example, foods. Prolonged or frequent contact with water (often termed wet work) can also cause it.”

Hospitality managers who employ kitchen, cleaning or housekeeping staff, should be aware that these employees may be more susceptible to the conditions, however, the new HSE guide can help managers reduce – and even remove – the causes of dermatitis.

Download and read the guide to find out:

  • the signs and symptoms of dermatitis and urticaria
  • what the law requires from employers
  • how to conduct a straightforward risk assessment
  • how to prevent urticaria and dermatitis from developing using the ‘APC approach’; and
  • where to find further information and support

The HSE provides extensive resources and templates to support all industries in meeting their obligations to keep employees and the public safe. For further information on information specific to the catering and hospitality industry, see HSE.


‘Tis the season to prevent violence in licensed and retail premises with a FREE toolkit

Prevent violence in your hospitality workplace with the free HSE toolkit
Prevent violence in your hospitality workplace with the free HSE toolkit

The holiday season is supposed to be about goodwill, however, what begins as a fun evening can turn ugly when alcohol is involved. According to the UK’s Alcohol Concern “alcohol misuse costs England around £21bn per year in healthcare, crime and lost productivity costs“. The costs can be significantly higher when taking into account the damage to a business’s reputation, insurance and refurbishment costs.

To assist managers, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and local authorities have developed an easy-to-use toolkit to help reduce the risk of work-related violence in a licensed or retail premises.

The toolkit provides practical advice and can help managers and owners prevent or control violence by:

  • Tackling work-related violence towards employees;
  • Reducing the risk of violence to customers and members of the public on the premises; and
  • Reducing the risk of crime against a business.

The toolkit contains information on a wide range of possible control measures and examples of good practice that other businesses have found effective.

Find the toolkit on the HSE’s website at: Prevent Violence.