Providing Panic Buttons in Hotels Can Improve Staff Safety…and Overall Efficiency
The #MeToo movement has taken the world by storm over the last several months. It has also given momentum to efforts in the hospitality industry to improve conditions for its most at-risk workers by requiring the use of panic buttons. Hotel staff responsible for serving guests, and cleaning/maintaining guest rooms have reported very high rates of sexual harassment and assault. The high rates of harassment are due to a variety of factors that makes this group of workers particularly vulnerable. Factors that make these workers more vulnerable to harassment include: English often not their native language, a general fear of retaliation from supervisors, a work environment that requires they enter isolated personal spaces.
Ordinances already passed in New York, Chicago and Seattle mean that hotels need to provide panic buttons and more stringent sexual harassment policies. Unincorporated parts of Sacramento county just passed an ordinance earlier this year, and workers in Las Vegas are planning to request panic buttons in upcoming negotiations. Daily fines or the risk of having licenses revoked can be the result of non-compliance with some of the new laws passed. These new ordinances usually specify the following for a panic button:
- Something that staff can easily carry with them or wear as they go about their day-to-day tasks
- Must be provided at no cost to the worker
- Can summon help to their location
Technology is the Solution
RTLS (real-time location system) technology offers an ideal solution for meeting new hotel panic button law requirements. These systems are designed to locate people and things in real time using various technologies. Some RTLS uses UWB (ultra-wideband), BLE (Bluetooth low energy), IR (infrared) or Wi-Fi. Generally, a real-time location system is made of 3 main parts:
- Software (usually on a computer at central security or main desk console)
- Transmitters (small, portable devices worn or carried by staff that sends the location information)
- Receivers (a stationary device, typically wall or ceiling mounted, that receives the location information from the transmitters)
Location accuracy and reliability of the system are absolutely critical to ensure the fastest response to a panic button call. Secure Care Products offers the ENVisionIT® RTLS solution which uses UWB technology for accuracy to within ± 1 foot. This ensures instant room-level notification without a need for hardware in every single room. In addition, we offer a mobile app with picture push feature. This means anybody receiving a panic button alarm notification will see: name, location and photo of the person in need.
RTLS For Panic Buttons….and More
More cities and states across the country will pass legislation requiring hotels to provide panic buttons to their staff. This means we’re sure to see an increased need for RTLS in the hospitality industry. Generally, the hotel industry has resisted panic buttons as an undue cost. However, by selecting the right technology to meet panic button law requirements, hotels can do them selves a great service. UWB-based RTLS technology is an ideal panic button solution due to its high-level accuracy and reliability. But this technology easily lends itself to additional use cases in hotels/casinos/convention centers. Hotels can immediately start improving overall operational efficiency by using RTLS for workflow management and asset tracking. RTLS is a great technology for the future of hospitality. Contact us today to learn more about RTLS for your hotel.
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