HEI Hotels & Resorts Records Nine Percent Safety Improvement in 2011

Chairman Gary Mendell Cites Investments in New Tools and Increased Training for Continued Year-Over-Year Improvement

Jul 19, 2012, 10:02 ET from HEI Hotels & Resorts

NORWALK, Conn., July 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- HEI Hotels & Resorts today announced a nine-percent reduction in lost-time accidents, with corresponding improvements in claim costs and total claims, through 2011 compared to 2010, underscoring the company's commitment to employee safety and well-being. "There's nothing more important than the safety and well-being of our associates," said HEI Hotels & Resorts Chairman Gary Mendell. "The new tools and increased training are sound investments in the future for our associates, their families and our communities."

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In addition to safety programs, HEI launched a nation-wide wellness initiative in February in which almost 2,000 associates pledged personal commitments toward improving their well-being in tangible ways. The company's combined investments in associate safety and well-being are creating a new culture across HEI's 43 properties, as lost-time accidents declined nine percent, claim costs declined 28 percent, and total claims dropped almost 11 percent at the end of 2011 from year-before levels.

"We try to ingrain our focus on safety in the daily work of our employees, through new practices, new and innovative products, and company-wide initiatives," CEO Anthony Rutledge said. "We're always looking for new and innovative ideas to improve safety for our employees." He added, "Significant savings in claim costs allow us to reinvest in our business, and increase opportunities for our employees."

Safety initiatives across properties have focused on the "ABCD's of safety" – awareness, back safety, cutting tools, and danger zones. In the past year, HEI has spent money to make safety improvements in each area; for example, in "cutting tools," HEI spent part of the $500,000 investment in safety tools on items such as cut resistant gloves and anti-slip cutting board mats. Use of the industry-leading "bed wedge" – a device that helps lift mattresses when changing linens – helped reduce incidents of back injury among housekeeping staff. 

Properties are also participating in safety games to keep safety top of mind for HEI employees – from pumpkin carving contests with safety themes to a super safety bingo (with a car giveaway). Chefs and heads of housekeeping are also incentivized to reduce accidents in their areas with the chance to win prizes and recognition. General Managers share safety best practices with the team in monthly calls. 

About HEI
HEI Hotels & Resorts, headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut with 43 properties in 16 states, creates socially responsible investment and employment opportunities through real estate portfolios of hotels and resorts throughout the United States under such well-known brand names as Marriott, Sheraton, Westin, Le Meridien, Embassy Suites, and Hilton. HEI takes a holistic approach to creating value for its investors and employees by setting the highest standards across all aspects of hotel management and operation and focusing on the central principles of excellence and continuous improvement. HEI prides itself on some of the highest employee satisfaction scores in the hospitality industry, fuels local economic prosperity by investing in communities and is committed to environmental stewardship and sustainability. For more information about HEI, visit the company's website, www.heihotels.com.

SOURCE HEI Hotels & Resorts