COVID-19 risk assessment service for business sustainability in the hospitality industry

The COVID-19 risk assessment provided for free by the ILO’s Enhancing COVID-19 Prevention at and through Workplaces helps strengthening the occupational safety and health (OSH) management system in Indonesia’s hospitality industry.

Article | 06 July 2022

The hospitality industry is seeing a surge demand of travellers after a two-year lull induced by the COVID-19 pandemic due to travel restrictions and travellers’ safety and health concerns.

Equipped with a mask, a pair of hand gloves and rubber boots, Vincentius Sigit Sriyadi, a member of Emergency Response Team at Novotel Suites Yogyakarta Malioboro, diligently maintain and clean the hotel’s pool area, making sure the area’s hygiene and cleanliness.

Not only he ensures himself to dutifully follow the health protocols, he also ensures that guests, including the staff, to apply the protocols. “It is an era of COVID-19 pandemic, not only in Indonesia but also throughout the world. Thus, the implementation of occupational safety and health (OSH) is crucial,” he explained.

Novotel Suites Yogyakarta Malioboro is one of the 120 hotels across the country that have signed up for the COVID-19 risk assessment service provided for free by the ILO. The service was developed by the ILO’s Enhancing COVID-19 Prevention at and through Workplaces to help Indonesian businesses implementing action plans to minimize the risks of virus transmission in the workplace and strengthen their OSH management system in which a vital part to ensure business continuity.

The knowledge sharing session on the importance of OSH and tailored recommendations by the OSH doctor improves our mitigation planning during this pandemic and for the future health crises. The service strengthens our health facility effort to be more reliable and effective."

Novi Soesanto, General Manager of Novotel Suites Yogyakarta Malioboro
The service also boosts businesses’ confidence to operate safely and maintain their productivity whilst also matching their employees' and customers’ impressions of COVID-19 influence to ensure that they are protected as well as safety and health programmes are promoted in the location.

To assist the hotel and restaurant industry that has been heavily impacted by the pandemic, the ILO has joined forces with the Indonesian Hotels and Restaurants Association (PHRI) to promote the application of the service. This partnership has also encouraged the participating hotels to upgrade their facilities to further promote the principles of OSH. During the pandemic, the hospitality industry has also adopted new technologies such as touchless systems, greater use of apps with digital menus and QR codes as a new approach to prioritizing worker and guest safety.

Novotel Suites Yogyakarta Malioboro had signed up to join the service earlier this year. Within five weeks they were able to develop actions plans based on the assessment and employees’ surveys. The action plans include a periodic socialisation event every once a week, updated health-educational materials placed in the lobby, reception area, hotel rooms and meeting rooms and the revival of standard operating procedure such as test and trace management and self-care programme for workers tested positive of COVID-19.

“The knowledge sharing session on the importance of OSH and tailored recommendations by the OSH doctor improves our mitigation planning during this pandemic and for the future health crises. The service strengthens our health facility effort to be more reliable and effective,” said Novi Soesanto, General Manager of Novotel Suites Yogyakarta Malioboro.

By adhering to government guidelines, matching the OSH doctor recommendations based on the assessment and surveys to be implemented in the workplace, embracing updated SOP and empowering a safety culture — definitely can make safety as business edge."

Faisal Tjandraatmadja, Head of Hotel Business Certification, BPP PHRI
Although COVID-19 concerns have been subdued they have not gone away and yet have become an ultimate game-changer. Thus, it is still critical to revive the industry by emerging new strategies such as concentrating on safety and health programme to match the customers’ priorities as the positioning strategy. With evolving market demands and hotels’ ability to meet those needs, this can deliver a competitive advantage.

“Even though the COVID-19 cases continue to drop, the enthusiasm of PHRI members in the regions is still high to take part in the assessment carried out by the ILO. We hope that each and every workplace becomes a safer, healthier and more comfortable place,” added Faisal Tjandraatmadja, Head of Hotel Business Certification, BPP PHRI.

He also emphasized that businesses must prioritize the safety of their workers and customers. “By adhering to government guidelines, matching the OSH doctor recommendations based on the assessment and surveys to be implemented in the workplace, embracing updated SOP and empowering a safety culture — definitely can make safety as business edge,” he added.

To date, the hospitality industry is seeing a surge demand of travellers. In the capital, according to the Statistics of DKI Jakarta Province, at the beginning of 2022, the Jakarta hotel industry recorded a reasonably good performance compared to the previous year with Jakarta star hotels’ occupancy rate reached 52.7 percent in March 2022.

For more information and registration of the risk assessment service go to www.ilocovidproject.id