The OSHA rules are a set of safety regulations that are designed to keep employees and customers safe. There are general regulations that everyone is bound by and there are industry-specific rules and guidelines that cover numerous industries, including everything from agriculture to manufacturing, salons, and casinos.
The OSHA requires that casino and gaming businesses have clearly written safety compliance plans that are specific to the location that they operate in and that cover the activities that go on at that premises. These rules should be personalised to the business in question �” generic plans will not do.
The OSHA requirements are not new, but depressingly, health and safety in casinos remains an afterthought a lot of the time. It is not uncommon for the safety officer to be a security guard, or a senior employee who is ‘high up’ in the company but who does not have a lot of training. Alternatively, the person who is in charge of things such as Worker’s Compensation may be in charge of safety. While this may seem to make sense in that they have an incentive to make sure that no claims are made, it is not useful to have someone in charge of safety if they are inadequately trained.
The health and safety officer should be someone who is fully versed in the OSHA, and who has a relevant qualification such as the Certified Safety Professional award. Everyone who works for the casino should have safety training, even if only to ensure that they are able to take care of themselves. You may not think that there is any need for a person who is customer service worker to have safety training, but consider what they do every day. They may be moving heavy trolleys, and they may be dealing with customers who could be drunk or unwell. They should at the very least have training in what to do if they are faced with something like an injured customer. If a fight breaks out, they should be aware of the risk of bloodborne pathogens. If they have to carry things, they should have manual handling training. If they work with electrical equipment then they need to know the basics of safety there.
In terms of general operations, it is important that the casino workers and management have an understanding of area safety. Casinos can be maze-like, and customers may spend a lot of time wandering from table to table. Is it easy to evacuate in the event of a fire? Do your employees understand which doors are fire doors and what areas will need to be kept unobstructed. It is important that your management think about possible issues such as vandalism, a fire in an adjacent hotel room caused by a guest that is a smoker, or a fire breaking out in a trash can.
Don’t forget about contractors and outside vendors, too. If you hire people to do things such as maintain the outside of the building or repair your heating system, you must ensure that they are properly trained, that they do their job well and that they too put the safety of themselves and of passers by at the forefront of everything that they do. Imagine if a window cleaner dropped a tool from their crane when cleaning a high window, and it hit a customer on the head. The ANSI regulations state that a window cleaner cannot use a bosun’s chair to work at heights over 300m. You, as the building owner, cannot make the cleaner liable for injury or falls when working at a height. It is your responsibility to make sure that everyone is kept safe at all times.
The OSHA may seem like a lot of paperwork for no gain, but it is something that you need to pay close attention to. Safety should be a team effort. If it is built into everything that people do, and if it is enforced from day one as a part of the culture of your workplace, then it becomes easier to manage, and you will have nothing to worry about in the day to day running of your premises.