Expectations for staff and customer safety have never been higher in the BC beer industry. While proper hand washing and ergonomics might be fairly straightforward issues to tackle, other kinds of safety might seem less so. Thankfully there is an organization that can help.
Good Night Out is a B.C.-based nonprofit with a mandate to address sexualized violence in spaces where people might not be sober. While there are many organizations that provide sexual harassment training, GNO had a unique focus on the hospitality industry and its unique culture. Talking with Stacey Forrester, GNO’s Education Director, she also pointed out a second characteristic that was unique to GNO which is “that we are a 360 degree lens on safety. We talk about workplace sexual harassment, but also the patron experience.”
Of the many services GNO provides the main one is their educational programs, specifically their foundational course. This course covers statistics, language, legislation, and Worksafe BC requirements before more in depth discussions of risk assessment and tools. These tangible tools are meant for everyone from management, back of house, or “whether you’re a 19-year-old, it’s your first job and you’ve never done anything else but you really like beer.” A section of the training also includes bystander intervention, “which is a valuable skill for anyone in any sector.”
If “bystander intervention” sounds confrontational to you, Stacey is reassuring that the training can provide preventative tools for even the most shy or confrontational averse staff.
For those owners or managers who feel such training is unnecessary for their business, Stacey is blunt and factual. “Sexual violence is pervasive across all corners of our society…It’s way easier to be proactive than reactive.” She also makes a case for training as a smart business move.
GNO’s training is available B.C.-wide and beyond. It is available to bars, restaurants, tasting rooms, festivals, art spaces and theatres. GNO has provided training to an extensive and ever growing list of craft breweries. For those looking for further education there are smaller workshops, including for such things as disclosure. All this training can be adapted to specific workplaces. One server I talked to said she would “recommend every living person leaving the house to take the training.”
Beyond all this is the price point. Due to current funding provided by the provincial government and others, GNO’s training is free or heavily subsidized. This means there is literally no reason not to contact them.