Plan for the prevention of occupational hazards in the hotel and catering industry

Plan de prevención de riesgos laborales hostelería

An occupational risk prevention plan for the hotel and catering industry is a very important strategy. It contemplates the protection that each company must guarantee the worker against the possibility of suffering an accident at work.

In general, companies establish a manual for the prevention of occupational hazards in the hotel and catering industry, which sets out the conditions for each job, as well as the obligations of the company.

Next, you will discover everything related to basic aspects of prevention, risks in the hotel and catering industry and the importance of preparing for possible risk factors.

The most basic in the prevention of occupational hazards in the hotel and catering industry

One of the most basic aspects, as far as the prevention of occupational hazards in the hotel and catering industry is concerned, is related to Law on the Prevention of Occupational Risks, which establishes the duties of the company to the worker.

In addition, having a manual for the prevention of occupational risks in the hotel and catering industry will ensure that the measures for the prevention of occupational risks are implemented in an appropriate manner.

Occupational hazards in restaurants belonging to the establishment

There are various occupational hazards in restaurants that are specific to the establishment, which can prevent yourself by implementing the use of an occupational risk prevention manual and ensure the health of the employees.

Among the occupational hazards in restaurants own establishment we have:


One of the most common occupational hazards is falls, which can be of two types:

  • Falls to the same level due to dirty floors, broken tiles, food scraps and lack of lighting.
  • Falls to different levels which represent a greater risk and are due to the inadequate use of implements used to reach objects or carry out work in elevated areas.

Some recommendations for the prevention of occupational hazards in the hotel and catering industry due to falls are:

    • Walking at an appropriate speed and observing your surroundings.
    • Cleaning up spills of food once they occur.
    • Repairing floors in inadequate conditions.
    • Use anti-slip shoes.
    • Place prevention notices when cleaning the floor and when the floor is wet.
    • Use appropriate equipment to work in high areas.
    • Ensure the stability of the stairs before they’re uploaded.
    • Do not place the ladder near doors or spaces where there is customer traffic.
    • Do not use stairs on uneven floors.

Cuts or blows

Cuts or bruises are another occupational risk factor in restaurants, caused by the use of sharp, cutting tools, such as knives, scissors, sharp-edged containers, blenders, slicers and spoiled utensils.

Among the tips to prevent cuts or blows we have:

  • Keep manual cutting tools well sharpened.
  • Use the right knives for the job.
  • Use the tools to cut in spaces with good lighting.
  • Check that auxiliary machines such as slicers are properly maintained.
  • Dispose of utensils to cut them up in bad shape.


Electricity is another present occupational hazard that needs to be carefully addressed, ensuring the proper use of electrical equipment and machinery.

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To prevent occupational hazards in restaurants due to electricity, it is recommended

  • Verify that the electrical installations are in excellent condition.
  • Make sure your hands and feet are dry when using electrical equipment.
  • Do not use broken plugs no damaged cables.
  • Do not overload the electrical system.


Fire is an occupational hazard in restaurants caused by the presence of ovens, stoves and some flammable components.

Among the main actions for the prevention of occupational risks in restaurants are

  • Carrying out a adequate maintenance of ovens, stoves and electrical installations.
  • Do not use water to extinguish oil fires.
  • Continuously check the gas installations as well as the electric ones.
  • To have the adequate means to extinguish the fire according to its origin.


Temperature is one of the aspects that can cause greater discomfort to workers, due to exposure to cold or heat at extreme levels.

Among the actions that guarantee prevention, we have hotel and restaurant work risks:

  • Avoiding sudden changes in temperature.
  • Use adequate equipment such as thermal gloves.
  • Place the hot containers in the areas indicated for this purpose.
  • Avoid oil splashes when placing the food carefully.
  • Check that the extraction and air conditioning systems work properly.

Prevention of occupational hazards in the hotel and catering industry due to ergonomic conditions

To achieve the prevention of occupational hazards in the hotel and catering industry, it is necessary to consider the factors that may adversely affect working conditions of the employee.

Among the most outstanding ones we can mention the following:

Bad position

Sometimes workers take a bad position because of the work they do, because lack of space and long working hours when standing.

To prevent the effects caused by a bad position we have

  • Adapting the workplace according to the needs of each position.
  • Maintain a correct posture.
  • Change the position of the body, by performing stretches.
  • Lift your feet alternately to reduce lower back discomfort.
  • Carry out training sessions for workers and strengthen the adoption of appropriate positions when performing some activity.

Repetition of movements

The repetition of movements during the working day can cause injury to nerves, muscles, tendons and ligaments.

To prevent occupational hazards in the hotel and catering industry, we recommend the following actions:

  • Plan the tasks to be carried out during the working day.
  • Rotate in the different areas of work.
  • Establish rest periods in order to recover the fatigue in the muscles
  • Carry out the activities decreasing the force applied during each activity.


Another occupational risk in restaurants is weight, which can cause physical shocks or inconveniences to employees after handling very heavy loads, when moving them from one place to another, standing for long hours and bad posture.

For the prevention of occupational hazards in the hotel and catering industry due to the action of weight, it is necessary:

  • Maintain a good body posture.
  • Use protective equipment when loading or moving heavy loads.
  • Wear appropriate footwear during the workday.
  • Perform stretching exercises during rest periods of the working day.

Food handling and risks in restaurants

Food handling represents a high occupational risk in restaurants for workers, as it is possible to get infected with microorganisms such as fungi or bacteria from contaminated food.

Some of the recommendations to prevent occupational hazards in restaurants from food handling are

  • Run cleaning and disinfection plans in the spaces where food is prepared.
  • Cooking the food at a suitable temperature, for the necessary cooking time.
  • Store the food in clean, dry, and off-the-ground spaces.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water, before and after handling food, and after using the toilet.
  • Use clean and appropriate clothing for every job.

Chemicals and risk in the hospitality industry

In view of the presence of occupational hazards in the hotel and catering industry it is necessary to protect employees from exposure to chemicals used to perform the cleaning.

Among the contaminating factors are toxic vapors, inadequate storage and mixing of products.

To prevent these types of effects we share the following recommendations:

  • Do not mix cleaning products and follow the instructions for use of the product.
  • Store chemicals tightly closed in dry areas away from food.
  • Ventilate the spaces at the time of cleaning.
  • Use gloves when handling chemicals.
  • In case of accidental ingestion, it is recommended consume an abundant amount of water and avoid inducing vomiting.
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Psychosocial risks in restaurants

The psychosocial risks in restaurants that often exceed the capacity of the workers

Among the psychosocial risks that can affect restaurant workers are

Stress levels

Stress is capable of causing distress, anxiety, irritability, moodiness, back pain, hypertension, tachycardia, and gastrointestinal ulcer, among others.

Some recommendations for to avoid psychosocial risks to workers are:

    • Reducing the number of hours of the extended workday.
    • If you’re overworked, ask for help.
    • Identify situations that may cause stress.
    • Eat healthy.
    • Get at least 8 hours of sleep a day.

Staff burnout

The burnout or Burnout syndrome responds to a generalized state of exhaustion and fatigue, in which the worker loses all types of motivation related to his or her work activity.

These are some recommendations that will help reduce occupational risks in restaurants of Burnout syndrome:

  • Control stress levels through healthy activities.
  • Adapting to the workload.
  • Maintain a good relationship with the boss and co-workers.
  • Recognize stress triggers.

External violence

External violence is another occupational risk factor affecting workers, who are exposed to aggression or mistreatment of clients during their working day.

Among the recommendations to adequately manage the occupational risk in restaurants represented by external violence are

  • Offer training to workers on the handling and recognition of violence.
  • Establish conflict prevention protocols.
  • Implement security measures such as cameras, alarms, and withdrawal of funds.
  • Provide psychological care to employees who have experienced a violent event.

Importance of evaluating and preventing occupational risks in restaurants

The importance of evaluating and preventing occupational risks in restaurants is related to the improved security, which focuses on reforming new conditions that benefit workers during their working day.

The prevention of occupational risks in the hotel and catering industry is vital for the development of the company.

It also helps the good development of the workers and the establishment of measures to establish new strategies and avoid any kind of contingency.

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