Hotels are made to be a traveler’s safe haven. They provide a place to sleep, rest and recharge when people are traveling for business or pleasure. Unfortunately, as far too many hotel owners know, a hotel is never more than one accident away from exposing itself to major liability, and hotel owners absolutely can be found liable for injuries suffered by guests. This doesn’t mean that you are absolutely going to get into trouble if you open a hotel, but it does mean that there are certain precautions you should take in order to protect yourself, your employees and your business. Here are three ways that hotels can protect themselves from liability by safeguarding their guests.
Take Care of Sensitive Information
Unfortunately, according to Netsurion, cybercrime is on the rise, and personal data is being stolen on a regular basis, particularly from hotels. This means that you, as a hotel operator, have to take special care of sensitive information. Make sure you create appropriate cyber-protection measures and develop plans to ensure that customers are notified in the event of a data breach. Also, take the time to consult with experts to develop a plan that will minimize your customer’s financial security risk and your legal risk.
Place Warning Signs Around Dangers
Accidents related to electrical hazards and slip and falls are all too common, and a failure to note them as dangers leaves you exposed to liability. Make sure to have warning signs that are bright, visible, easily readable and written in all local languages and the languages your guests speak. This becomes all the more important for potential water hazards. According to Boohoff Law, hotel owners have a special responsibility to ensure reasonable precautions to protect their guests near pools and hot tubs.
Confirm Proper Installation of Equipment
A hotel has a slew of equipment that can pose a hazard to guests even under the best of circumstances. This includes furniture, shower doors and carpets, and that only covers the things that are in the guest rooms. When it comes to public spaces, everything from elevators, locked doors, pools, hot tubs and gyms can create potentially life-threatening hazards. To that end, don’t skimp on installation services. Don’t take shortcuts like having an untrained intern set up your hotel’s weight room. Make sure that all instructions are followed, supervision is maintained and equipment is regularly inspected for potential hazards. This may be a little bit more expensive upfront, but it potentially saves you millions of dollars in legal costs, to say nothing of the pain of losing a life due to negligence.
As a hotel owner, you have certain obligations to your guests. You must keep them safe and warn them of any potential dangers. And as a business owner, your obligations go beyond that. You have financial obligations to yourself, your family, your employees and those affiliated with you and your organization. The above three steps are basic requirements for keeping your hotel out of legal trouble. Follow them, and you can help protect your customers and yourself.
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