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The first couple of months of 2012 have not been without suspense for the Lodging Industry. Because of the transient nature of guests who utilize lodging accommodations and the privacy afforded to these temporary guests, hotels have become prime venues for the exploitation of “at risk” individuals through sexual exploitation and human trafficking. As of March 15, 2012 the 2010 Standards become mandatory for alterations, new construction, and barrier removal.
Resumes can be a great tool for hotel managers to get their first real glimpse at a potential hire. Business interruption insurance: Keeping your hotel afloat while you fix what’s broke – Vol.
Hotels rely upon property insurance to protect against the risk of property damage, from minor mishaps to the catastrophic damage caused by hurricanes, accidents and other unforeseen events. This color visual illustrates the various items that that should comprise an OSHA-approved first aid kit for most workplace locations. Recently many health organizations, including the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, and University of Arizona’s College of Medicine, have issued new guidelines encouraging the use of “Hands-Only” cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for first responses to many instances of sudden cardiac arrest.
In this Ask Gail column, a night auditor who usually works alone inquires whether it is appropriate to leave a hotel’s front desk unattended in order to deliver items guests have requested to their hotel room.
In this Ask Gail article, a reader inquires where to find information on how to develop a concierge program at her hotel.
Over the years, facility hotel and building managers have introduced many different and unusual methods for saving energy. It is estimated that the annual cost of energy and water for a hotel can be reduced by as much as ten percent by training employees to operate the hotel efficiently.
Ladders are a common tool utilized by the maintenance and engineering staff in nearly every hotel. Recently, I was asked by a veteran hotel consultant what I perceived have been the biggest changes in hospitality law affecting hotels in the past five years. When Niagara University assumed publication ownership for The Rooms Chronicle® in 2003 one of the goals was for TRC to be used as a teaching tool to educate future hotel managers. As we finish up our Summer season and get ready for the Fall, let’s take a moment and reflect on the past ten years and how it has affected the lodging industry. The other day while traveling on a business trip my colleague and I were driving to the hotel.
Because of the various fixed costs associated with operating, maintaining and staffing hotels, there is a specific point, both in terms of dollars generated and room nights sold, where the hotel will start to realize a profit.
Today’s select-service and limited-service hotels are one of the fastest growing segments in the hospitality industry, and for good reason. Put yourself in this scenario: You are working the front desk alone at a select-service hotel and as fate would have it everything explodes all at once.
Despite the myriad of resources available to hoteliers in a technologically advanced business environment, many front office managers opt to still engage in the age old business practice known as the daily “call around”. In this article, a former FBI agent shares the fallout resulting from a 2004 breach of guests’ data at a Maryland hotel that resulted in $850,000 in fraudulent credit charges.
Previously, individuals checking into a hotel with a pet and claiming it is a “service animal” are essentially protected under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the guest and service animal must be accommodated unless the animal poses a disruption or direct threat to the hotel or its guests.
Each year about 1 million Americans will suffer a first or recurrent heart attack, and some 500,000 will not survive it.
As a service to guests, hotels provide a variety of equipment that travelers commonly need. This is a sample log for guest loan items that can be used by housekeeping and front office personnel to keep track of amenity items loaned to guests. When it comes to cleaning the bathroom, the tub and tile area takes more time and energy and can be the cause of more problems than any other area of the guestroom. Many housekeeping attendants often express confusion about the proper order in which guestrooms should be cleaned on a daily basis.
As an educator, author, hospitality consultant, and former hotel manager, I tend to notice the various shortfalls in both service and cleanliness standards that regularly occur at hotels where I stay or visit when traveling. Over 9 million people in the United States use needles and syringes to manage medical conditions.
The best room attendants will explain that they have developed a system to clean their rooms. Housekeeping managers are responsible for reordering supplies, amenities and equipment so that their associates have the needed items to complete their assigned daily tasks. The United States has issued new requirements for baby cribs to be bought and sold. As of December 2010, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has unanimously voted to ban the sale and resale of cribs with drop sides and to make their use in hotels and motels illegal. With Housekeeping being the department that only takes away from the bottom line but never generates any revenue to add to it, every housekeeping manager should always make controlling their department’s expenses a top priority; and that should start with labor costs.
Staffing a hotel’s Housekeeping department with reliable personnel can be rather difficult at times. Due to a weak economy and high levels of unemployment, management teams at hotels, casinos and vacation ownership properties have faced increased pressure by their owners to cut costs and become more efficient, not just with managing resources but in staffing matters. On August 30, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a final rule that would require every U.S. Why failing to pay for computer “booting up” time might transport you into a costly lawsuit – Vol. In this day and age, it’s pretty much a given that employers in every industry should – and do – strive for diversity in their workforces. It is no surprise that the Winter months bring an increase of cold, influenza, and other communicable illnesses to the workplace. Did you know that over 80 out of every 100 accidents are the fault of the person involved in the incident? Power outages are indeed disruptive to hotels, their employees and most certainly its guests. In this article, risk management expert Jesse Denton encourages hotel managers to shape employee behavior by praising appropriate and exceptional behavior whenever observed. Recently, a federal district court ruled that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has the right to subpoena safety audits and other records prepared by an employer’s insurance carrier. Let’s all remember that just because something makes money, doesn’t necessarily make it the right thing to do. Many of John Hogan’s articles cover topics that are of interest to hotel and restaurant managers, hotel owners, innkeepers and hospitality associations. A sales blitz is an intensive survey of a given geographical area to determine its market potential.
Courtesy of AH&LA’s Green resource Center, this insert provides a list of actions properties of any size should take to stake their claim as an eco-friendly establishment.
New detection system can eliminate false claims against hotels of bed bug infestation – Vol. With all the adverse publicity about bed bugs infestations permeating the media, how is a hotel supposed to defend itself against claims of bedbug bites from overly sensitive hotel guests? In this article, Gail responds to readers’ inquiries about how to prevent housekeeping staff members from “borrowing” other attendants’ vacuums without permission and where the hotel’s ‘emergency keys” should be located. Removing petroleum jelly stains: Books about pioneers of the American Hotel Industry – Vol. In this Ask Gail column, a reader inquires how to safely remove petroleum jelly stains from the furniture upholstery and the carpeting.
In this Ask Gail column, a reader inquires about the value and benefits of the Certified Hospitality Administrator certification.
Shenzhen Andasheng Bag Manufacturing Co.,Ltd is the leading supplier of bags in Shenzhen City. We need styles that are quick and easy to maintain without having to wake up at the break of dawn every morning to get it right.
The ongoing saga of the revised Americans with Disabilities Act continues to affect hotels, especially with regards to the pool lift and access requirements. Check any newswire or perform an Internet search and stories of human trafficking and sexual exploitation invariably connect to or through hotels in some form. Not only is human sex trafficking slavery but it is big business. Newly covered existing recreational elements must comply with the new standard unless compliance is not readily achievable. Over the past decade, hospitality providers have been engaged in an amenities and bedding competition and have taken drastic steps to remodel and revamp their suites and guestrooms to appeal to patrons desiring luxurious accommodations.
The way an applicant’s resume is organized, the flow of information, and the way the information is shared can sometimes speak volumes about how the candidate will perform if they were hired.
But in the aftermath of a disaster, hotels may face significant losses in revenue which are not directly related to costs incurred by fixing crumbling frescoes or a malfunctioning electrical system, but rather, arise out of the interruption of operations required to repair the damage. Recent studies have shown that being trained in Hands-Only CPR can make the lifesaving difference when someone suffers sudden cardiac arrest. Gail provides two authoritative sources of information and discusses the uniqueness of each. The information in this article offered by hospitality energy consultant Phil Sprague will provide some suggestions for training employees to reduce energy consumption without any capital investment. They enable personnel to reach high places for a variety of reasons such as hanging banners, changing light bulbs, checking sprinkler heads, dusting high areas, accessing roof areas, and so much more. To that end, TRC has been used as an educational tool in classes not just at Niagara University, but by instructors at dozens of college hospitality programs in the United States and abroad, including in South Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.


During this time period we have published over 2,000 articles, inserts, posters and pocket guides on various facets of hotel operations.
The round the clock nature of the front desk makes it a logical focal point for guests to seek out remedies for their immediate problems at all hours of the day and night.
Until the hotel reaches that magical number of guestrooms sold and revenue generated, all sales up to that point will essentially be used to pay for the fixed costs to operate the hotel plus the variable costs to supply and maintain the guestrooms that are used. Industry studies have shown that select-service properties have become more feasible to build and franchise than their full-service counterparts and offer an economical alternative for guests in today’s shaky economy. There are two guests waiting to be checked in, a third guest is seeking directions to a nearby restaurant, the phone is ringing off the hook, you can hear an incoming fax arriving, and yet another guest wants to pay for their purchase from the hotel convenience store. This is where a PBX operator or front desk clerk engages in a benchmarking exercise by telephoning other nearby hotels to inquire about their selling rates and occupancy for the coming evening. John Hogan offers 13 simple, but often overlooked cost-saving, steps can be especially valuable in small lodging properties. As of March 2011, the Department of Justice has updated the ADA with new regulations pertaining to service animals in places of public accommodation. Whether it be for business travel or pleasure, it is easy to notice when the housekeeping staff at many hotels fail to meet the standards associated with their brand or the expectations of their guests. For the most part, exposure to “sharps” is not a big problem in the lodging industry; it can however present a serious problem exposing many “back of the house” employees or future guests to injury by carelessly discarded syringes and other contaminated items. Whether or not they have been formally trained, veteran cleaners have worked out a routine that they use in each room. When supplies and amenity items run out, productivity can grind to a halt and guests are adversely impacted. The ban officially starts on June 28, 2011 with hotels and motels given an 18 month time period to replace inadequate and unsafe crib models. This sounds simple, and if the hotel’s housekeeping team is really dedicated to this goal it can be; but controlling labor expenses when the hotel is busy and there are a thousand other things to do can be a real challenge. It can require a detailed hiring process to bring unfamiliar associates on board, and usually an entire Human Resources staff to handle any needs or requests they may have. These lawsuits have resulted in several multi-million dollar settlements, not to mention the dramatic legal fees and costs associated with defending any class action. It is no surprise to any veteran hotelier that staffing expenses are typically the greatest burden carried by a lodging property. Department of Labor with regards to tipped employees may have a dramatic impact on hoteliers, especially if a hotel fails to comply with its requirements. Department of Labor, provides a list of requirements that all employers must comply with who seek to claim a credit towards hourly pay for the gratuities that certain tipped employees receive. Though he has shared one or two of these in previous blogs or columns, this list is much more comprehensive.
But hotel employees are perhaps more susceptible than most workers to these transmitted illnesses because of the transient nature of the environment in which they work. Obviously elevators, escalators, computers, televisions, lights, and refrigeration systems will stop working unless the hotel maintains an emergency power source from a generator. With it comes a sense of apprehension for all along the coast, especially for those in the hospitality industry.
However, failure to correct bad and unsafe work habits will foster an environment of inappropriate behavior and an unsafe workplace. Not the illegal kind of drugs, but the pharmaceutical type that may be left behind by guests and discovered by housekeeping associates. What about hotel marketing efforts that possibly compromise the delivery of guest service, or more significantly, pose a danger to the safety and wellbeing of their guests?
One of the topic areas he receives the most feedback and requests for additional materials are in the area of sales and marketing, which he has come to recognize is one of the three most essential for success. They provide the reader with immediate information about the hotel in a short and concise bullet point format. The idea is to lay the groundwork for a sharp increase in business by gathering the information sales staff needs to do its job well.
In this book’s 21 chapters, various leading sustainable development experts identify emerging trends and discuss how sustainability affects regulatory, policy, development, architectural, financial, and operational issues as they apply to hotel and resorts. Each step contains further tactics, including case studies, statistics, and additional resources. This can be difficult since a property does not want to summarily dismiss any guests’ claims and appear as uncaring or disingenuous, nor does the hotel not want to be liable for claims that are not true or which it held no legal responsibility for. The CHA designation is a highly respected globally recognized professional credential that validates a manager’s advanced knowledge in the hospitality industry. AH&LA continued to petition Congress and the Department of Justice (DOJ) first for clarification on and then for a delay to implementing the pool lift requirement. It is the fastest-growing business of organized crime and the third-largest criminal enterprise in the world.
Existing hotel recreational elements that must comply with the new standards by March 15, 2012 include pools and spas, saunas and steam rooms, and exercise equipment and machines.
Housekeepers, who clean 15-20 rooms a day under intense time pressures are being adversely affected by the heavier, more cumbersome mattresses which have more than doubled in weight and thickness over the last ten years. Not only does an error-free resume illustrate an applicant’s ability to pay attention to detail, but it conveys the personal responsibility assumed by the applicant to present themselves to others for consideration in an unblemished manner. As hoteliers, the best possible way to stay aware of that content and control the hotel-to-guest relationship is to add an easy-to-use and extremely affordable Guest Review System directly onto their website.
If and when this occurs, business interruption insurance may provide compensation for these losses. Hands-Only CPR is a potentially lifesaving technique involving no mouth to mouth contact; with Hands-Only CPR the responder does not give mouth-to-mouth breaths to the victim.
In this article, hotel energy expert Phil Sprague shares several useful, practical and cost effective ways of saving energy in a unique way. Yet, each year there are more than 164,000 emergency room-treated injuries in the United States relating to ladders.
As an educator, the opportunity to share with and learn from others is something that is most important to me.
After spending 15 minutes attempting to find our hotel, I did what most men wouldn’t do – call the hotel for directions. Everything from guest relocation procedures, linen thread counts, reservation call conversions, dealing with deceased guests, emergency evacuation procedures, telephone etiquette tips and more have been covered. Realizing this, front desk personnel should foresee the need to make available certain items to guests at any given hour of the day or night.
Regardless of the service level your hotel offers, every competent hotel manager should know and be able to determine how many guestrooms they must sell and how much gross revenue they must generate in order to realize a profit. It is widely accepted that select hotels provide the best return on investment for hotel companies. Based on the information culled from the call around, some front office managers may choose to raise or lower their short term rates to maximize revenue potential. These new regulations provide greater clarity for hoteliers as to what exactly is and is not considered a “service animal” and whether the animal being presented as a service animal must be accommodated by the hotel.
The housekeeping department is typically responsible for maintaining the inventory of guest loan items, responding to loan requests, and tracking the items to make sure they are returned. This article presents tips that can serve as guidelines for training employees in the proper procedures for porcelain tub and tile shower cleaning. Presented here are twelve errors or inappropriate housekeeping work practices that can commonly be found in many hotels just by walking the halls as a guest. Sharps are anything that can cause a puncture wound and expose employees or guests to blood or other body fluids that may contain germs (pathogens). One of the secrets of being an excellent executive housekeeper is to help every room attendant learn a system that will save both steps and time. When supplies run low to the point where reorders will not arrive in time before an outage occurs, housekeeping employees are forced to decide how to ration their supplies and guestroom amenities in order to make it through until the delivery arrives. As this article explains in detail, any cribs offered in hotels and motels on or after December 28, 2011 must meet the new standards. Here are some ideas that can be used as a checklist to keep the Housekeeping department’s labor costs under control. One alternative solution that many hotels are embracing is outsourcing some or all of the various housekeeping functions to non-hotel staffers. Thus, all employers, including hoteliers, should develop a familiarity with FCRA requirements and implement FCRA-compliant background screening policies and procedures in order to prevent costly litigation and provide a defense in the event of litigation. Add to this the growing number of government-imposed hiring regulations emplaced upon employers and it is easy to see that many hotel managers are asked to deliver more with fewer resources available to them.
The poster must contain a select list of employee rights under the NLRA and must be posted by November 14, 2011.
The ruling specifies that all employers must notify employees or forfeit tip credit on wages. But even if it seems that everyone already knows that they should pursue diversity, it’s still worthwhile to reflect on the benefits of a diverse workforce, and talk about best practices for getting there. Judge for yourself the depth of these following items, and decide if you agree with my assessment whether they are “myths or facts”. Because of the public nature of the hotel business, it is impossible to work completely in a sterile environment.


In many situations, people tend to look for “things” or reasons to blame when an accident happens. But even the largest generators can typically only support limited electrical service to a big hotel. For many, a few months’ income will make or break a business, so a severe storm brings potential ruin for a business that is not sufficiently insured. The court’s decision serves as a reminder to hoteliers that OSHA continues to aggressively wield its enforcement authority, and that a hotel’s safety audits, internal safety reports, and related documents – even when prepared by an insurance company or an outside consultant – may eventually end up in OSHA’s hands. OSHA has identified this as a problem of increasing exposure to good health, and hotel housekeeping personnel are likely to encounter these drugs in guestrooms and restroom that have been left behind by guests and customers. Today, with the intense pressure on the bottom line, hotel managers must not lose focus that it is still their responsibility to protect guests against “foreseeable dangers” on hotel premises. With that in mind, here are five common sense steps to stronger public relations that should help improve the positioning and perception of your hotel, as well as revenues.
Essentially, it is an abbreviated version of a hotel’s marketing brochure that usually fits onto one standard size page. The concept of a hotel sales blitz is a remedy that brings a great deal of enthusiasm to those responsible for selling, as well as a good amount of potential business.
Each chapter presents important elements in the implementation of sustainable development to provide valuable insights to hotel investors, developers, owners, and lodging operators. These guidelines and best practices are provided to enable both hoteliers and suppliers to become more efficient in their sustainability programs. As explained in this article, the good news for hoteliers is that a new bedbug detection product has recently been developed that will enable hoteliers to check for recent activities of bedbugs in guestrooms on and near beds. It is an honor awarded to lodging professionals whose leadership and managerial abilities are deemed exemplary. Literally at the 12th hour on the day all hotels were required to comply with the new mandates, the DOJ granted a 60 day extension for compliance. This article discusses the new ADA requirements and presents visual diagrams for the pool requirements.
As a result, housekeepers and room attendants are now 48% more likely to be injured on the job and 51% more likely to incur a serious, disabling injury than that of the average worker in the service industry. The Hands-Only technique increases the likelihood of surviving cardiac emergencies that occur outside medical settings such as in hotels and restaurants. We even provided an article on choosing the right toilet bowl brush for cleaning guestroom commodes! Presented here are eight categories of items that every front desk should keep handy to accommodate unexpected or late night requests or emergencies. As this segment continues its exponential growth, there will be more opportunity for management professionals to transition from full-service operations to managing a select- or limited-service hotel. Common sense dictates that that this approach to keeping tabs on your competitors is unreliable and rife with misleading intelligence. When all was said and done, almost a year after the attack, the hotel had learned a few hard lessons that are shared here. This is mostly because aspirin typically are not conveniently accessible when needed away from home. Although there are disputes about the correct order of cleaning, the most important factor is to limit the number of trips to the cart. This article illustrates how to develop and implement a standardized re-order plan for non-recycled housekeeping supplies to avoid such difficult scenarios.
Because of these challenges, outsourcing in the hospitality industry has and continues to grow by leaps and bounds across the United States and in the Caribbean. However, as indicated in this article, this posting date has been moved back to January 31, 2012. After about 5 minutes, the computer completes its booting up process, and the employee signs in. This would affect hotels that seek to minimize the cash wages it pays directly to some employees such as bell persons, door persons, parking valets, concierges, room attendants, servers and bartenders as part of their weekly compensation. The new law requires that employers must comply with specific procedures if they seek to claim a tip credit for wages paid to certain.
In this article, labor law attorney Jaclyn West provides insight for hoteliers to promote diversity in the workplace.
But there are prudent and guest-friendly steps that hotels and their associates can undertake to reduce transmission of communicable illnesses between guests and employees through various common contact points. This seems to them to be easier than to look for the “root cause” or basic reason for the incident to begin with. Hence, it is critical that hotels prepare well in advance for a power outage, which could occur at the least opportune time. While hotel owners cannot predict a storm, they can protect their businesses financially; understanding both the insurance product and a business’ risk is essential. Although these are incidental encounters, increased exposure could potentially threaten the health of certain associates. As this article explains, one example of such a marketing initiative in hotels that poses a foreseeable danger and should be eliminated is the Room Service for Breakfast Door Hanger.
But what exactly should be included on a fact sheet, how should it be presented, and how often should this information be updated? Unfortunately, a number of these sustain injuries while at the hotel or return to the hotel with an injury which may need minor medical attention. Most notably the ten year anniversary of the September 11th attacks looms heavily in our minds.
This list was compiled after consulting with various front office managers, night auditors and the author’s professional experience working overnight shifts at hotels. As this article explains, while the size of the hotels may be smaller, the scope of what needs to be accomplished by fewer managers presents some unique challenges for hoteliers.
As this article explains, this tactic can be considered an illegal business practice and in violation of federal anti-trust regulations designed to promote fair and open trade amongst competitors. Just introduced in August 2010, is a unique patented aspirin dispenser that provides the fastest possible access to an emergency dose of aspirin tablets.
This can become a confusing scenario for room attendants, especially since they will not know which guestrooms will likely depart early. While outsourcing a hotel’s housekeeping function provides several benefits, there are also some negative aspects that must be considered.
Many hotels brands have sought out the benefits afforded by outsourcing at least some aspects of their labor operation. This article fully describes the posting requirements, reasons why the posting date has been delayed, penalties, and what steps that hoteliers should take to comply with the new law.
Once the employee signs in and the computer has accepted the employee’s password, his employer considers his workday to have officially started and he begins to receive pay for his time. Attempting to round up emergency supplies, diesel fuel, and other support items after an outage has occurred will likely prove costly, futile, or both. John Hogan shares several tips about how to implement a successful hotel sales blitz program and where to draw short term labor from, for almost free!
So the prudent hotel manager should carefully examine each applicant’s resume for errors as part of the applicant review process. Many of these guests will expect or at least hope the hotel has first aid supplies to assist them. It measures just three inches in length; so that it can be carried on a keychain, or in one’s pocket or purse. This article provides a sequential order which guestrooms should be cleaned and explains why this order is the most efficient method.
This article discusses the concerns associated with sharps and hotel employees including employee training, collection and disposal. Here is a non-exhaustive list of pros and cons that any hotel should contemplate when considering if outsourcing is right for them.
Here is a list of the ten most frequently asked questions and answers about the benefits of outsourcing various labor functions within a hotel. As explained in this article, to continue to take advantage of the tips credit, there are several requirements that employers must meet. So take the time now to ask yourself, “How prepared is my hotel for a massive power outage?” Drawing on the lessons learned from the recent power outage in Southern California, here are ten steps to get you started on your emergency response plan for dealing with a large scale power outage. This article discusses where to locate first aid kits in a hotel and what items should be stocked in them. These emergency dispensers can be strategically located throughout a lodging property for immediate access when a guest starts to exhibit signs of a heart attack. If you said nothing, you might be right, BUT, believe it or not, this exact scenario has led to several millions of dollars in settlements over the last few years. This article provides a crash course on the legal issues associated with booting up time, and provides some helpful hints to keep your hotel from becoming the next Wall Street Journal headline.



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