MEININGER Interview with Dennis Dost, the Occupational Health and Safety Specialist
MEININGER: Dennis, you are working as an Occupational Health and Safety Specialist at MEININGER. An important job, especially since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. Before we speak about the pandemic, and how it affected MEININGER and your responsibilities, which general three facts should we know about your job?
Dennis: Well, first I see myself as an internal consultant to our hotels and staff in all matters regarding health & safety in the workplace. Secondly, the everyday business in the hotel, taking care of our guests and keeping up with health & safety documentation, all at the same time, can be very challenging. That’s where I come into play, e.g. by staying in contact with our external partners, checking on the state of existing documentation and training, or looking after possible training needs. Finally, I stay in close contact with our hotels and our Facility Management team and do onsite inspection in the hotels.
Your Job in Times of Corona
MEININGER: And how has COVID-19 changed your job? What is different now?
Dennis: Well, it was already a challenge to stay informed and aware of all the different legislation in the nine countries we operate hotels in before the pandemic. Corona now added a total new layer to that. We are now taking an even more intensified look on individual behavior, cleanliness and hygiene. Luckily, our standards were already high. Nevertheless, adjustments had to be made and because the situation is in constant flux, on-time adjustments are inevitable. A close and good communication between the hotel operations teams, the management and myself are vital to make that work.
MEININGER: What does this mean for the MEININGER Hotels across Europe?
Dennis: We have already put a lot of effort into enhanced safety measures for our guests and staff, and we already gained awards for meeting all the required standards, e.g. safety and hygiene certifications. Constant improvements and adaptions to the ever-changing situation are part of our everyday work life.
New Health & Safety Standards
MEININGER: Things we should know about the health and safety measures at MEININGER Hotels?
Dennis: Some exemplary steps that we have taken are: raising our cleaning intervals, handing out masks, gloves, etc. to our staff, setting up hand disinfection locations for guests, setting up screens on the front desk and applicable food and beverage outlets (e.g. the bar), adapting our seating capacity in the lobby and breakfast area to the allowed extent per local legislation, as well as adapting the number of people which can be accommodated in our rooms. And we are constantly working on being even more thorough. Keeping a distance, wearing the mask, and washing your hands as often as you can for at least 20 seconds are the best measures you can take to protect yourself.
MEININGER: Why can you feel safe when staying at MEININGER Hotels?
Dennis: Because we feel totally confident in our well-trained hotel staff acting according to standardized procedures. Certifications reward our efforts to create a memorable stay for the guests in the safest environment possible.
MEININGER: What do you like most about your job?
Dennis: My 15-year-old self would never have said such a thing: the constant learning. It literally does not stop. One of the most valuable lessons I learned when working for Disney: “You never know or memorize everything. But you should know where to find help, and that is where I excel at.
MEININGER: What can you recommend to people when sleeping in a hotel during the pandemic?
Dennis: Choose MEININGER. 🙂 Make yourself aware of the situation and the rules at your travel destination ahead of your travel. Always follow the simple rules: keep distance from others and wash your hands. Keep in mind that the situation could change fast and prepare accordingly. Stay informed during your travels about the situation at your destination and at home.
Safety guidelines and hygienic measurements at MEININGER
The well-being and safety of you and the MEININGER family are more important than ever to us. Therefore, we have developed safety guidelines and hygienic measurements that guarantee you will have a worry-free time when staying with us.