June 21, 2024

Washington State Takes Bold Step to Protect Hotel and Motel Workers with Panic Button Law

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From dealing with difficult guests to working alone in guest rooms, hotel/motel workers often face potential security threats. 

To address these concerns, Washington State has enacted a pioneering panic button law to safeguard the safety of hotel/motel employees. 

In this article, we will delve into the details of this law and introduce Silent Beacon, an innovative panic button device equipped with business-oriented features that can help hotel/motel workers stay safe in their workplace.


Understanding The Panic Button Law for Hotel/Motel Workers

The safety and security of hotel/motel workers are paramount, and Washington State’s panic button law, RCW 49.60.515(1)(d), reflects this commitment. The law requires hotel/motel employers with at least one employee to provide panic buttons to their employees for use in emergency situations. 

These panic buttons must be easily accessible and functional, and employees must receive training on how to use them effectively. The aim of this law is to provide an additional layer of protection for hotel/motel workers and ensure prompt response in emergency situations.

The law extends its coverage to various workers, including janitors, some security guards, hotel and motel housekeepers, and room service attendants.

This includes those who spend the majority of their working hours alone, as well as those whose primary work responsibility involves working without another coworker present, even if they do not spend the majority of their working hours alone.


Safety Risks For Hotel and Motel Employees

Working in the hospitality industry comes with its unique set of challenges. According to a 2018 survey by the American Hotel & Lodging Association, 58% of hotel workers reported experiencing at least one incident of harassment from guests within the past year, while 49% of housekeepers reported experiencing sexual harassment from guests. 

Hotel/motel employees may encounter guests who are rude, aggressive, or even violent. Verbal and physical harassment from guests can lead to emotional distress and physical harm to employees.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported that the hotel industry had the second-highest number of charges filed for sexual harassment in the service industry, accounting for 14.5% of all charges filed in 2019

Housekeeping staff often work alone in guest rooms, which can put them at risk of encountering guests who may have ill intentions. This can include incidents of sexual harassment, assault, or theft.

Employees working late-night shifts, such as a front desk or security personnel, may face heightened risks due to decreased visibility, lower staffing levels, and increased likelihood of encountering intoxicated or unruly guests.


How Washington State’s Panic Button Law Helps

Washington State’s panic button law is a crucial measure to protect hotel/motel workers in emergency situations. By providing easily accessible panic buttons and mandating training on their use, the law empowers employees to quickly call for assistance when faced with a security threat. 

By having access to panic buttons, hotel/motel workers can significantly enhance their safety and well-being at work. In the event of an emergency or safety threat, hotel/motel workers can activate the panic button to immediately alert their employer or security personnel for assistance. 

This enables swift response and intervention, minimizing the risks and potential harm to the employee. Panic buttons provide a sense of empowerment and security for hotel/motel workers, knowing that they have a reliable means of calling for help when needed.

Furthermore, the panic button law also serves as a deterrent for potential perpetrators. Knowing that hotel/motel workers have access to panic buttons and can quickly request help can discourage harassers or assailants from attempting any harmful actions. This proactive measure can contribute to preventing incidents before they escalate and creating a safer work environment for hotel/motel workers.


Silent Beacon: An Innovative Enterprise Solution For Hotel/Motel Industry

Silent Beacon is a cutting-edge panic button device that goes beyond standard panic buttons by offering business-oriented features tailored for hotels/motels. They include the following:  

Cloud-based Dashboard

Silent Beacon provides a user-friendly cloud-based dashboard that allows employers to monitor the status and location of panic button activations in real time. This enables prompt response and coordinated efforts in case of an emergency, ensuring that hotel/motel workers receive immediate assistance when needed.

Professional Monitoring

Silent Beacon offers professional monitoring services, where panic button activations are monitored round-the-clock by a team of trained operators. In the event of an emergency, these operators can swiftly dispatch emergency responders to the location, providing an additional layer of protection for hotel/motel workers.

Customizable Mass Alerts

Silent Beacon allows employers to send customizable mass alerts to all employees in case of an emergency or security threat. This enables quick communication and coordination among the staff, ensuring that everyone is informed and can take appropriate action to stay safe.


Silent Beacon provides comprehensive reports on panic button activations, including the time, date, and location of each activation. This allows employers to track and analyze safety incidents, identify patterns or trends, and implement preventive measures to mitigate risks in the future.


Final Thoughts

The Washington state’s panic button law serves as an important step towards ensuring the safety and well-being of hotel/motel employees. By mandating the provision of panic buttons and implementing other safety measures, this law aims to protect employees from potential risks they may face in their line of work.

As a leading provider of personal safety devices, Silent Beacon offers innovative solutions that can further enhance the safety of hotel/motel employees. With features such as a cloud-based dashboard, professional monitoring, customizable mass alerts, and reporting, Silent Beacon provides a comprehensive safety solution for employees to have instant access to help in emergency situations.

By implementing this law and incorporating additional safety measures, such as Silent Beacon’s personal safety devices, employers can create a safer work environment for their employees and help protect them from potential risks.