Safety and health for hotel, restaurant and catering

The hotel, restaurant and catering (HORECA) sector is one of the fastest
growing in Europe. In 2004 more than 7.8 million people were employed
(Eurostat, 2005) and the sector generated more than EUR 338 billion turnover
(Eurofound, 2005). It consists mainly of restaurants and bars, which account
for three quarters of the jobs. Other employers in the sector include camping
sites, youth hostels and canteens. The overwhelming majority of businesses are
small, employing less than 10 people. Women make up a little over half of the
workforce. (Eurofound 2005: 'Hotels and catering - policies, issues and the

Jobs tend to be temporary, with irregular hours, low pay and few career
prospects. There is a high proportion of young people working in the sector.

Characteristics of the HORECA sector which can have a negative impact on
occupational safety and health (OSH) are:

  • heavy workloads

  • prolonged standing and static postures

  • contact with (sometimes difficult) customers

  • high levels of evening and weekend working, which disrupt an employee's work-life balance

  • high levels of stress

  • monotonous work

  • harassment and even violence from customers, colleagues and employers

  • discrimination against women and people from other countries.

More information - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work