Regulatory compliance is a vast subject, full of different rules and regulations all hotel owners must not only understand, but comply with. Failure to do this can not only result in huge fines, but in some cases, imprisonment. So, here is a breakdown of some of the main compliance laws you need to know.
It may seem obvious that fire safety should be a huge concern within the hotel industry, but fire safety regulations require more than simply installing extinguishers and fire exit signs. In fact, The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires not just regular inspection of fire safety equipment, but ongoing fire risk assessments to be carried out. These checks need to be made to ensure that fire doors are not damaged or blocked and that hazards are removed. All staff should be fully trained in fire safety and have a complete understanding of the hotel’s fire escape plan. Similarly, the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations requires all hotels to purchase fire
It is essential that a hotel maintains the highest possible standards of hygiene, keeping in line with the Health and Safety Act 1974. All aspects of the hotel must be spotlessly clean and the correct hygiene products present in all guest bathrooms and gym/swimming pool changing areas. Complying with these hygiene musts, will not only ensure your hotel adheres to health and safety laws, but that your guests will have a pleasant experience at your establishment.
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 states that all electrical systems must be maintained, regardless of size. For smaller electrical items, such as room kettles, portable appliance testing must be carried out. Each inspection looks for external damaging, earth continuity and installation testing. All tests must be regularly completed, by an authorised professional.
All hotels’ gas equipment and appliances must comply with the gas regulations (The Gas Safety Regulations 1998). This legislation states that all gas systems must be checked regularly (at least annually) to ensure they are safe. Hotel boilers work very hard as they need to heat and provide hot water for the entire hotel 24/7, 7 days a week, so ensuring they are safe makes sense, not just to minimise unexpected breakdowns but also to reduce dangerous faults such as gas leaks. Legislation also requires that gas-related undertakings are carried out by a registered gas-safe engineer.
Water systems are a breeding ground for different types of bacteria, including legionella. Therefore, it is essential that a hotel’s water system has a valid Legionella Risk Assessment carried out every 2 years.
Hotel air conditioning systems must undertake regular energy inspections to comply with The Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations 2007. The regularity of these inspection depends on the weight and number of units your hotel has:
Every 12 months – buildings over 3kg refrigerant, usually 1 – 15 air conditioning units
Every 6 months – buildings over 30kg refrigerant, usually 15 – 75 air conditioning units
Every 3 months – buildings over 300kg refrigerant, usually more than 75 air conditioning units
If you own a large hotel, employing over 250 members of staff or with an annual turnover in excess of 50 million euro (£38,937,777), and an annual balance sheet total in excess of 43 million euro (£33,486,489), then you must undertake a mandatory energy assessment (ESOS). This assessment should be carried out every 4 years and aims to identify areas of your business that may be using excessive energy. Reducing this energy usage will not only minimise your bills but will also help reduce your hotel’s carbon footprint.
If all this information sounds slightly overwhelming, then fear not. Employing a property maintenance company which offers compliance maintenance services means that you don’t need to worry about all the various legislation that your hotel must comply with. A maintenance company will design, carry out and manage maintenance visits to ensure that all your assets are compliant. This also means that your premises will be safe and secure, your staff and guests happy, and your problems are minimised. Ultimately, giving you the peace of mind you need to focus on your business.