Report ESENER 2023: Accommodation and food service activities
ID 19498 | 25.04.2023
Accommodation and food service activities
Evidence from the European survey of enterprises on new and emerging risks (ESENER): report 2023
The Accommodation and Food and Beverage Service (AFBS) sector is an important economic, social and cultural activity sector in Europe. On the one hand, it is at the heart of the tourism industry. On the other hand, it caters to local people and businesses in the European Union (EU). The sector covers a wide range of different businesses including Accommodation services and Food and beverage service activities. Work in the sector is characterised by a high share of seasonal, temporary and part-time employment, as well as a high proportion of female workers, young workers and migrant workers.
Meanwhile, the sector encompasses an array of different tasks and jobs that pose different types of risks to the health and safety of its workers. In general, working conditions are characterised by high exposure to occupational safety and health (OSH) risks, including emotional demands and work-related stress. Night and weekend work, shift work, air temperature and quality, contact with sharp objects, dermal exposure to dangerous substances (including tobacco), tiring or painful positions, employment status and dealing with difficult customers (violence) are a few characteristics of work in the sector.
Also, working hours in the AFBS sector are often long and at the time of leisure of the rest of the population, consequently impacting negatively on the stress levels and work-life balance of its workers. Main work-related diseases include musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) - particularly lower limb disorders - and skin diseases, as well as high stress levels. Further to these issues, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the sector, and this is reflected in employment temporary/permanent cuts and the introduction of ad hoc protection measures (i.e. financial support measures, temporary tax reliefs, capacity limitations, vaccination checking, etc.), among others. With these elements in mind, the main general goal of this study is to provide relevant information to understand OSH management practices amongst European workplaces in the AFBS sector.
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