Hotels/Hospitality Insurance

Emergency Evacuation:
Do You Have A Plan?

Each year, emergencies take their toll on business and industry- in both lives and dollars. But something can be done. You can limit injuries and damages, and return to normal operations more quickly if you have an Emergency Action Plan in place.

Regardless of whether you operate from a high-rise building or an industrial complex, or you rent, own, or lease your property, your first priority is to protect the health and safety of everyone in your facility. One common means of protection is through the use of an Emergency Evacuation Plan.

Planning for emergencies is critical in assisting you in assigning responsibilities and procedures when responding to fire, chemical, weather, utility or medical emergencies. A plan will also further assist you in developing preventative actions.

If you already have an evacuation plan, make certain your plan has accommodated any changes. If you don't have a formal plan, we urge you to develop one. Plans compel you to think through the best course of action in an emergency.

Here are some items that should be included when developing your plan:

• Determine conditions under which an evacuation would be necessary.

• Establish a clear chain of command.

• Designate who has the authority to order an evacuation.

• Designate specific areas where personnel should gather after evacuating. Take a head count.

• List the names and last known location of personnel not accounted for. Confusion in the assembly areas can lead to unnecessary and dangerous search and rescue operations.

• Establish procedures for assisting non-English speaking workers and those with disabilities.

• Post evacuation procedures and clearly identify primary and secondary escape routes.

• Conduct training. Failing to practice can undermine even the best plans. Practice increases the likelihood of a confident and orderly evacuation. Coordinate plans with your local emergency management office.

The details involved in evacuation planning range from major to minor, but decisions have to be made, written down, presented, and practiced regularly.

Employees need to know what to do, and know it so well that they can put the plan into action even when they are rattled.

Being prepared for a catastrophe lessens the potential for injury, lost lives and property damage.

GDI Insurance is one of the most experienced property and casualty insurance brokerage consulting firms in the state, serving the region's finest businesses.

The dedicated property and casualty team represents the full array of insurance carriers. Their knowledge and experience have earned the trust of many businesses throughout the area. Let us help you prepare for the unexpected with a solid evacuation plan today.

Property Management with Safety in Mind

Workplace Hazard Precautions

As a property manager, you must oversee units, buildings or complexes for the owners of the facility. Your job is extremely important, as both tenants and owners rely on you to keep the property safe, orderly and functioning.

Your safety is just as important as the tenants occupying the premises, so keeping this mind is essential. Here are some pointers for avoiding injuries on the job:

• Always watch out for your personal safety when dealing with the public. Sometimes people can become violent, angry or act unpredictable for no reason or over a seemingly minor issue. You may experience stress with someone else over lease agreements, parking zones or when dealing with complaints and disputes.

• When collecting rent or carrying large amounts of cash, always keep your eyes out for others. To be less vulnerable, make frequent trips to the bank during regular business hours. It is also wise to let someone else (spouse, significant other, close friend, etc.) know your daily routine in case you cannot be reached. This could indicate to them that you are in danger and need assistance.

• Conduct frequent safety inspections to identify potential hazards, such as uneven pavement, puddles of oil or water in walkways, faulty door locks, etc. Fix these problems immediately or hire someone to do so.

• Limit access to the property by installing locks on all entrances. Also install adequate lighting to deter intruders, especially in more desolate areas of the building. It is also wise to manicure the landscaping often so that there are clear views around the property.

• Communicate hazards with your tenants by placing signs on defective equipment or by restricting them from areas that are being repaired.

• Do not try to perform services that you are not properly trained on, such as HVAC work, plumbing repair, etc. If you attempt to repair or replace something without expertise, you may unnecessarily hurt yourself and/or may damage the property as well.

• Always use caution when working on electrical equipment, as these items can pose shock hazards.

• Be mindful of crush dangers when working near fans, elevators and trash compactors.

Hotel Fire Safety Checklist

 

Yes

No

 

 

 

Is there a fire alarm system to alert attendees of a fire?

What does it sound like - a bell, horn, slow whoop or other?

 

 

Are exit doors and routes indicated by illuminated EXIT signs?

 

 

Is there emergency lighting for the exitways and stairs?

 

Yes

No

 

   

Are there any obstacles in corridors, exit doorways, exit stairs and other routes that constitute exit ways for occupants?

   

Do exit doors from meeting, food service or casino areas swing out?

   

Are exit doors locked or secured in any way that would prevent ready use of the door?

Yes

No

 

 

 

Are doors which could be mistaken for an exit marked properly?

 

 

Do doors to exit stairs close and latch automatically after use and remain properly closed?

 

 

Are you able to access the guest room floor from the exit stairs?

Yes

No

 

   

Are instructions prominently displayed in each guest room giving details of the fire alarm signal and indicating locations of the nearest exits?

   

Are guest room doors self-closing and free of transoms or louvers that might permit penetration of smoke into the room?

   

Is there a sign clearly visible in each elevator lobby station that states "Elevators are not to be used during a fire"?

Yes

No

 

 

 

Are there signs posted at the main entrances to meeting and facility rooms - specifically maximum number of occupancy information?

 

 

Are the provided exits remote from each other so that occupants are able to use alternatives, if one exit becomes unusable in an emergency?

 

 

Are folding partitions or air walls arranged so as not to obstruct access to required exits?

Yes

No

 

   

Are there mirrored surfaces near exits that might create confusion for evacuees?

   

Do meeting rooms have sufficient exits to allow the number of occupants to leave readily?

   

Are all corridors, stairways and aisles free of temporary or permanent storage, including laundry, chairs, tables, room service trays and trash?

Yes

No

 

 

 

Is there a designated senior staff member responsible for on-site fire safety inspections?

Name: Title:

 

 

Are you subject to a fire code? If so, which one?

 

 

Are any violations related to fire safety inspections outstanding or uncorrected? If so, list:

Yes

No

 

   

Does your facility have a full sprinkler system? Where are sprinklers located?

   

Are smoke detectors located in all areas of the facility? Indicate smoke detector locations:

   

Are all smoke detectors hard-wired into the central signaling system or directly to the fire department? Which are not?

Include a copy of your facility's operating emergency procedure in case of a fire with this completed checklist.

May not represent all hazards present. For reference only.

Source: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

Commercial Property fire prevention

Owners and managers of commercial and business facilities have an obligation to maintain safe conditions for employees and occupants. The most common causes of commercial residential fires result from negligent cooking, improperly discarded smoking materials, negligent candle burning and faulty electrical equipment. To reduce the risk of damage and injury at your commercial property, there are three main objectives that should be satisfied: install proper prevention equipment, inform tenants of risks and establish an effective evacuation plan.

fire prevention equipment & planning

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Check with local authorities to verify building code and fire codes for your premise. If a sprinkler system is not required, the National Fire Protection Association recommends installing a sprinkler system for safety and liability. To ensure that the system works properly when and if a fire arises, routinely inspect, and conduct maintenance and testing.

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Equip building with a fire alarm system and smoke detectors, both in units and common areas; check detectors regularly and change the batteries at least every six months.

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Place fire extinguishers in common areas of the building.

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Provide adequate emergency lights and exit signs. These items maintain a sense of order and reduce panic in the event of a fire. Routinely inspect these safety materials for damage and reliability.

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Establish an evacuation plan for your tenants. At each exit and on a posting's board, display a floor plan of your building with the exits and a primary and secondary escape routes clearly marked. Provide this information to your tenants when they move in, renew their leases or semi-annually as a reminder.

tenant safety recommendations

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Never leave cooking food unattended.

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Exercise caution with smoking materials. Discard them in ash trays and never throw the ashes in the trash. Instead, flush them down the toilet.

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Never leave burning candles unattended. Always place candles in proper holders on a sturdy surface away from children, pets and materials that could catch fire.

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Unplug appliances when not in use.

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Place space heaters at least three feet away from items that could catch fire. Always unplug and turn them off before going to bed.

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Check smoke alarm at least twice per year and change the batteries

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Practice a safety evacuation plan and be familiar with the building's exits.

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Never use an elevator during a fire; always use the stairs.

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Keep a fire extinguisher in their unit.

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Never paint any fire sprinkler, never hang anything from any part of a fire sprinkler system, never stack items close to fire sprinklers (at least 18 inches below fire sprinkler heads); and always report damage to any part of a sprinkler system immediately.

For additional assistance, please contact us!

COMMERCIAL SWIMMING POOL OPERATIONS

Operation and Maintenance

YES

NO

NA

Public pools, pool equipment and related facilities must be properly maintained and operated by a person who is designated as responsible for the compliance with local and state regulations. This person will ensure that the pool poses no threat to public health and safety.

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Operator must be responsible for the daily operation of the pool and ensure that the required testing is done and that records are maintained. This individual must be available to respond to an emergency and any unsafe or unsanitary issues while the pool is open for use.

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Operator must ensure that other employees who assist in monitoring chemicals and equipment are trained on how to properly do so.

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An operations manual for the facility and equipment must be readily available to employees.

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Operator and applicable employees must be trained on the safe handling of chemicals and use of protective equipment.

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Structure and Design

YES

NO

NA

Pool must be constructed of materials that are nontoxic, permanent, enduring, provide a tight tank with a smooth and easily cleaned surface and can be finished in a white or light color.

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Pool basin finish (including the bottom and sides) should be white or light in color, nontoxic, have a smooth finished surface, be free of cracks and be bonded to supported members.

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A hydraulic relief valve or an under-drain system should be in place when a high water table may affect the pool's stability.

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Pool shape should be such that the circulation of water and the swimmers' safety are not impaired.

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Corners of the pool must be rounded at intersecting walls and at the bottom.

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Wading pools must be separated from other pools and should be equipped with separate circulation systems.

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Fountains must be designed to thwart climbing.

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Pool Access

YES

NO

NA

Control patron access to the pool, especially children who are unsupervised, by placing fencing and self-closing or latching gates around the premises.

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Pools within buildings (hotels, athletic facilities, etc.) must be placed in a separate room with self-latching doors that restrict access to the pool room.

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Records

YES

NO

NA

Operator must maintain a daily record of the pool's operation and maintenance, including the following information:

· Operating periods for recirculation pumps, filters and corresponding meter ratings

  • Chemicals used
  • Disinfectant residuals
  • pH readings
  • Water temperature readings

· Pool chemistry measurements, such as alkalinity and cyanuric acid concentrations

  • Equipment maintenance
  • Instances of equipment malfunction

· Accidents or injuries requiring assistance from a lifeguard, other employee or emergency medical personnel

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Pool incidents resulting in serious injury or death must be reported to your municipality.

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Patron Sanitation and Safety

YES

NO

NA

Post safety and sanitation rules in plain view both in dressing rooms and the pool area.

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Patrons with communicable diseases should not use the pool, as these diseases can be transmitted in the water.

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Patrons with exposed tissue, open blisters or cuts should be warned that these injuries can become infected when using the pool. They should be advised not to swim.

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Patrons using the pool should take a shower before swimming and after using the bathroom, applying lotion, exercising or using a steam room.

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Do not allow patrons to spit, swallow water or blow their noses in the pool.

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Do not allow patrons to run or play rough with one another in and around the pool area.

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Do not allow domestic animals in the pool area, dressing rooms or shower areas.

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Lifeguards

YES

NO

NA

Pools must be equipped with one of the following lifesaving equipment devices:

· Ring buoy attached to a 3/16 inch manila rope that is 1 to 1 ½ times the pool width (not over 60 feet)

· Life pole or shepherd's crook pole with blunted ends and minimum fixed length of 12 feet

· Rescue tube (for use instead of a ring buoy when a lifeguard is present)

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Lifeguards (cont'd)

YES

NO

NA

Lifesaving equipment should be mounted in a highly visible area, distributed around the pool deck and on lifeguard stands. Equipment must be plainly marked with "For Emergency Use Only."

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Keep rescue equipment in good condition and ready for use.

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Pools must have a backboard and a stocked first aid kit ready for use. Backboard must be placed within the pool enclosure and the first aid kit should contain the following supplies:

· One-, two-, three- and four-inch adhesive compresses

  • Plain gauze pads
  • Gauze roller bandages
  • Eye dressing packets
  • Triangular bandages
  • Bandage scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Rubber gloves
  • Pocket face mask

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A lifeguard certified in Red Cross lifesaving techniques, first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation of infant, child and adult patrons must be on duty at all times while the pool is open, unless a warning sign is posted indicating that no lifeguard is present. The lifeguard is responsible for the safety and supervision of all patrons while the pool is in use.

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Place an emergency telephone adjacent to the pool area, when the lifeguard is on duty. Emergency telephone numbers should be posted with the phone.

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Water Condition and Cleaning

YES

NO

NA

Water temperature should not exceed 104° F.

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Pool must be equipped with testing equipment, including:

  • A Diethyl-P-Phenylene Diamine (DPD) testing kit
  • Phenol red pH testing kit
  • Alkalinity measurement testing kit
  • Cyanuric acid testing kit (when applicable)

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Pool water should be clear enough to see the drains located on the bottom.

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Keep pool chemicals in a closed, locked location that is inaccessible to swimmers. All chemicals must be properly labeled according to the manufacturer's instructions.

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Floating scum or matter on the pool's surface should be removed immediately.

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Restaurant Operations equipment maintenance

Cooking appliances are an invaluable asset to restaurant owners and operators. To prolong the life of this equipment, employees should properly clean and maintain appliances regularly. Use this checklist to identify the daily, weekly and periodic cleaning and maintenance duties that will keep your cooking equipment in usable condition for years to come.

Yes

No

N/A

Ranges

(Open, Closed or Fry Top)

     

Daily: Open the top of the range and remove the encrusted food by scraping it off. Then, soak it in warm water and a grease solvent. Make sure the grids are cooled entirely before cleaning.

     

Daily: Rub a closed-top range with heavy burlap or steel wool to remove cooked food under the flames, lids, rings and plates. Do so once the top plates have cooled. Never pour water onto a range top!

     

Weekly: Boil open top grates in a grease solvent and clean clogged burner ports with an ice pick or stiff wire to remove spilled foods. If this is not done, food can cause corrosion and uneven cooking.

     

Periodically: Ask the gas company to check your burner adjustments and connections.

     

Periodically: Familiarize yourself with the arrangement of the burners and settings on a closed-top range. There are various heating settings available and you will seldom need everything on the highest heat.

     

Periodically: Keep the burner valves greased using high temperature valve greases specific for that task.

     

Periodically: Adjust the air shutters if flames have indistinct cones.

Yes

No

N/A

Ovens

(All Types)

     

Immediately: Clean spills before food has time to carbonize.

     

Daily: Wipe the lining and bottom of the oven with a damp cloth.

     

Daily: Clean crumbs and encrusted food from around door openings to prevent broken door hinges and cracks, which allow heat to escape.

     

Daily: Plan your roasting and baking to use "receding" heat from other tasks. Plan baking so that you do not have to bring the oven to full heat multiple times per day.

     

Daily: Be careful when cleaning to prevent getting caustic cleaning products on the thermostat tube.

     

Periodically: Check the level of the oven, specifically looking for warped sides and bottom.

     

Periodically: Contact the gas company to inspect your oven, including the burners and thermostat. Make changes or repairs as needed.

 

Yes

No

N/A

Broilers

(All Types)

     

Daily: Wash the drip shields and grips, scrape the grid with a metal scraper and scrub the broiler chamber and body front. Also, empty the grease pan and wash it with a solvent solution.

     

Daily: Keep under-fired broilers clean and avoid over-firing the broiler.

     

Periodically: Rearrange the ceramic material on under-fired broilers.

     

Periodically: Clean the burners and examine the air shutters to make sure they are clear. Handle the ceramic refractor unit delicately.

     

Periodically: Ask a representative from the gas company to check burners and adjust them as needed.

     

Periodically: Examine the flame on your burner. The flame should be clear with a distinct inner cone shape. Flames should also just wipe on the surface, not float or strike directly on the refractor elements.

 

 

Yes

No

N/A

Deep Fryers

     

Daily: Drain the fryer and filter fat into a commercial filter.

     

Daily: Remove food crumbs from the fryer and watch out to make sure the unit does not smoke.

     

Daily: Check your inventory. Specific fat should be used for oily foods and foods with water-soluble flavors.

     

Weekly: Wash the fryer with an alkaline solution and then thoroughly rinse it with water and a half a cup of vinegar. Then, dry the unit on the kettle with a cloth. Once it is clean, replenish the fat before lighting the gas burner again.

     

Weekly: Pack fat around the tubes of tube-type fryers when using solid fat. Set fat on the melt cycle when using open-pot fryers.

     

Periodically: Taste the fat to make sure it is still fresh and replace it as necessary.

Restaurant Storage Stocking Safety

Helpful tips for reducing injuries while stocking

Though that sack of potatoes or box of breadsticks does not look that heavy, oh boy; it sure is. You can develop serious injuries while unloading and stacking supplies in the restaurant's storage room by not lifting items the proper way.

Lifting Smart

Believe it or not, there is a right and a wrong way to lift heavy loads. Follow these safety tips to reduce the risk of injury, specifically to your neck, back and shoulders:

• Use a stool or ladder to access items on high shelves to avoid reaching over your head.

• Separate large boxes into smaller loads and carry them one at a time.

• Use handrails when traveling on stairs while carrying items.

• Use a hand cart when moving large items. If you are 18 years or older, you may also use a forklift or pallet jack to help transport products.

• Wear gloves to prevent getting slivers or nail puncture wounds.

• Never attempt to carry anything without examining the path you will take. If there are obstacles in the way, remove them before continuing.

The Lifting Process

Now that you have put all cautions in place, here is how you pick up a load without the risk of injury:

1. Bring the load as close to your body as possible before lifting.

2. Push up with your legs instead of your back and keep your head up and your back straight. Also, bend at your knees.

3. As you need to turn, shift your feet versus twisting your body at the waist.

4. Keep the load directly in front of you with your elbows in close to your body as you walk with the load.

5. When lowering it down, use your legs and bend your knees to slowly lower the load. Set down the objects while watching out for your fingers and toes.

Stacking and Storage

• Stack heavier items on the lower shelves to reduce the need to reach over your head.

• Place items that you and other staff members use frequently on shelves at waist level to reduce reaching.

Food Preparation Precautions

Tips for preventing injuries while preparing food

Preparing food can be a very fun and rewarding experience. You get to see the "fruits" of your labor and know that someone is enjoying what you've created.

While preparing food, there are several dangers that you may encounter in the kitchen. To ensure that you are not injured on the job, remember these safety tips.

Working with Knives

· Cut in the direction away from your body while keeping your fingers and thumbs out of the way of the cutting line

· Wear steel mesh or Kevlar gloves to protect your hands

  • Let a falling knife fall; never try to catch it

· Carry knives with the cutting edge angled away from your body and the tip pointed down

 

Using Kitchen Equipment

Exercise these cautions when using slicers, dicers, steamers, choppers, microwaves and mixers:

· Use push sticks or tamps to push food into these machines; never use your hands to push items through

· Turn off and unplug machines before disassembling or cleaning

· Never open lids or put your hands into machines while they are on

· Use hot pads when removing hot items from the microwave to avoid burns

· Never place metal, foil or whole eggs into the microwave

· Stand to the side of a steamer and open the door using the lid as a shield between the machine and your body

· Always use the machine guarding provided for the appliances; never assume you will be safe without it

 

Preventing Strains

· Always lift with your knees and not your back

· Make sure loads are balanced before attempting to lift

· If you stand for a long time, use a foot rest to shift your weight back and forth

· Keep your elbows close to your body while cooking

· Use appliances to cut, dice and mix foods versus doing it by hand

· Rotate through various stations to avoid doing the same task over and over again and getting a strain

 

Preventing Slips and Falls

· Clean up spills immediately and use cones or signs to indicate a wet floor

· Wear non-slip footwear with the laces tied tight

· Use non-slip floor mats on surfaces that tend to get wet.