It has officially been one year since the American Hotel and Lodging Association pledged to make hotel employee safety a priority. The initiative is called the 5-Star Promise, and it involves over 25 hotel brands with more than 18,000 properties to provide hotel employees throughout the United States with safety devices.
The participating hotels are meeting new standards to secure the safety of their workers. It requires implementing new electronic safety buttons and puts pressure on government organizations to take legislative measures.
Already, there have been a few early successes. In June of this year, the Governor of Illinois signed the Hotel and Casino Employee Safety Act. The new law requires that the safety devices be provided to every hotel employee in the state. The legislation is part of the states Workforce Transparency Act and many cities are passing their own similar laws.
The safety device technology being implemented are essentially portable panic buttons. They allow the employees wearing them to alert security personnel if or when individuals feel that they are in danger. Cities such as Chicago and Seattle have had mandatory safety devices in place for some time now.
A labor union representative for hospitality workers has highlighted how useful the buttons are, specifically for female employees. Often times, housekeepers are in situations where they are alone with the hotel guests. If there is any type of harassment or threat of assault these buttons can be a true lifeline.
The goal is to have the safety devices fully implemented by the year 2020. However, deciding on the best devices and technology are left for the individual hotel companies to decide. As the deadline approaches, many hotels are shifting into high gear and researching to select the best solution for their individual businesses.
Those with limited personnel and budgets will have to rearrange to allow the installation and maintenance of the safety device system. Depending on the system, the size of the staff, and the amount of hotel rooms, it can add thousands of dollars to the yearly budget. Subsequently, not everyone is happy about the new law.
This new demand for the technology has created new competition among providers and inspired new companies to be founded. Most commonly, providers that offer the wearable buttons have recently seen major spikes in revenue.
Most notably, AT&T s jumping on the bandwagon. The cell-phone provider has created their own device; the AT&T Staff Alert Service. When pressed the button will transmit the employees exact location to hotel security for immediate help.
As the need for this technology continues it will be interesting to see the range of options hotels and service providers will create and provide.