The legislative landscape is constantly evolving, and it can be challenging to stay up to date when it comes to safety. The time warp created by COVID-19 has only made it more of a hurdle, especially in the hospitality space, as hotel stays dwindled and reliable staff did too.
As a result, requirements that should have been implemented in 2020 fell by the wayside, and some initiatives were overlooked.
An example of this is the updated guidance around furniture anti-tip efforts. While the furniture industry must adhere to new weight withstanding guidelines, most hotels are not prepared to replace all their current furniture with pieces that meet the new standards. Many hotels have yet to implement solutions to this guideline or, in some cases, have but inadequately.
For example, a popular option has been plastic zip tie-type kits to secure furniture to the wall. If a child climbs on open drawers, the furniture should remain secure. However, this exact type of incident was reported to occur at the same company in three different properties within a two-week time frame, resulting in the dresser falling on each child. Fortunately, in all cases, the child was largely unharmed, but also, in all three cases, while the furniture was tethered with the above-mentioned plastic anti-tip kit, the kits themselves failed to withstand the weight of the climbing child.
These resorts have since been provided with kits of similar mechanics. However, these are made of galvanized steel vs. plastic so that they can withstand 400 lbs. This also aligns with the new legislation.
An easy fix that costs less than $4 became a solution to a common problem that could prove costly or deadly and out of compliance with industry and brand standards. This reminds us that keeping up to date on legislation and industry guidelines helps to keep employees and guests safe.
About the author
With over ten years of expertise in the personal safety arena, Gretchen is a safety and risk consultant and supplier helping hotels and resorts to curtail accidents and drastically reduce general liability and workers comp claims.