Read the case study and prepare a risk management report for the executive committee.
You have just been hired as General Manager at recently restored historical hotel located in The Rocks. The hotel has been providing very cheap, temporary accommodation since the early part of the last century. The hotel is located in the heart of Sydney but in a very dimly lit area where there has been a number of assaults and robberies. Last week, the rumour amongst the staff, was that one of the guests was badly assaulted and went to hospital. Also your guests have been allowed any number of visitors to their room without having to go through reception. Your mandate is to update the service and operations to suit tourists needs for 2013 and beyond.
In your first week on the job, you conduct a review of the premises, noting that the lift is old and is constantly out of order. The staff report to you that over the last month the lift has broken down at least 5 times, once there was an elderly guest in the lift and they suffered a stroke. You also ask to see the written occupational health and safety plan. Hotel staff indicate there is no written plan, but they conduct a fire drill every summer for practice. In addition you have also discovered the Health Safety Representatives have not completed HSR training and the Health Safety Committee is mainly made of full time staff from the administration area. The committee has not met for over three months and the minutes of the last meeting show the main topic for discussion was the staff Christmas party arrangements. Only two members of the committee have completed their committee training as the HR Manager said it was too expensive. When staff are injured they usually go to their local doctor as the first aid at TCR is not reliable – with kits not properly stocked and no effort made to roster qualified first aiders to each shift. The Human Resource department has been so busy recruiting to replace the staff who keep leaving – they have fallen behind in conducting induction training. New staff are handed a staff hand book only. Staff are complaining of tiredness – and appear to be frustrated. When conducting an audit you also discovered that there are no procedures at all for risk management. After reviewing the current sick reports for staff, you have discovered that an unusual number of housekeeping staff have been absent from work over the last month. Upon investigation you have found that the housekeeping department, which has 120 staff who are mostly casuals with a majority from Non English speaking backgrounds, have been using a new cleaning substance for the last six weeks that works well for glass shower screens. This has made the job easier for staff and has saved a great deal of time. Injuries and illnesses the staff have suffered include:
Breathing difficulties when overcome by fumes for 8 staff
Contact burns to hands for 4 staff
Burns to the eyes for 2 staff.
After talking to the staff you have discovered not all incidents with these chemicals have been reported. Even a guest has been overcome by fumes. When you have been conducting your investigation you have not been able to find any information about the chemical. The bottles staff are using are not labelled and the supplier has supplied no information about the safe use of the chemical. Further the hotel also has an events/function area that can be hired by people not staying at the hotel. It is meant to hold up to 100 people in the dining area. You notice however that there is a booking next week for 150 guests and for 16 birthday party, with fireworks and a band. It is unclear as to the training your staff have been provided with regarding the service of food and alcohol.
Please answer by
- Identify the breaches in WHS legislation, with specific reference to the legislation that applies in the case study i.e. NSW legislation
- Identify the hazards within the workplace
- Assess the risks associated with the hazards and determine the priority for risk treatment
- Identify appropriate management level controls to address non-compliance with legislation
- Identify the risk controls applying the hierarchy of controls for the identified hazards
- Conduct a cost benefit analysis that clearly states the costs and benefits associated with the non-compliance, hazards and recommended controls.
- Describe the consequences of not improving compliance and managing the workplace hazards.
Risk management is an essential exercise within the workplace issues. This is in terms of ensuring the safety and security of the staffs, clients and the customers. Different management levels are entrusted with the tasks of risk assessment in terms of maintaining the balance in the workplace operations (Glendon, Clarke & McKenna, 2016). This assignment attempts to enhance the knowledge of the readers regarding the risks and their control through the example of a case study regarding a hotel located in The Rocks.
Breaches in WHS legislation
Some of the breaches encountered by the hotel in The Rock are as follows:
Consultation, cooperation and coordination
In the hotel, most of the staffs were not consulted before taking the decisions. Neither were they made aware of the duties and responsibilities, which they had to perform in the workplace. Typical example of this is the provision of first aid to the guests.
Work health and safety code of practice
Incidents of chemical burns and getting stuck in the lifts were reported in the annual report of hotel mentioned in the case study. The victims in these cases were unaware of the handling measures (McNeil, Frey & Embrechts, 2015). One of the striking facts is that most of the workers lacked training on food and alcohol safety. This is the reason why they failed to manage the risks related to poisoning cases of the guests.
First aid in workplace
The management team of the hotel failed to restock the first aid facilities during the emergencies. This aggravated the complexities related to the safety and security. The workers lacked the basic skills of tackling the skills of dealing with exigencies.
Labelling of workplace hazardous chemicals
The chemicals used for the business purpose needs to be labelled for maintained for ensuring the safety and security of the staffs, clients and the customers. Disobedience in this regards is a crime, which is reflected from the approach of the hotel staffs towards the usage of the chemicals (Hopkin, 2018). Due to the carelessness of the staffs, incidents of burns and fumes were reported. Exposing the chemicals in the open increased the risk of the guests. Careless approach towards the safety and security of the guests is simply a breach of contract towards the workplace operations.
Managing electrical risks in the workplace
Negligence was reported in case of the hotel located in The Rock. This is in terms of repairing the dim lights, which resulted in accidents, especially in the night. Typical example of this are assaults and burglaries, which resulted in the loss of the life and property of the staffs and the guests.
Hazards within the workplace
In case of the hotel in The Rocks, the hazards identified are assaults and robberies due to dim lights in the hotel premises; defective lifts; absence of written occupational health and safety policies (Chance & Brooks, 2015). The presence of health representatives holds no value, as they lack training. Absence of training certificates puts their employment at stake. Not acquiring the training certificates from HSR is a breach of contract case of the workplace operations.
Poor condition of the first aid facilities in the hotel aggravates the complexities of safety and security in case of the staffs as well as the guests. The hotel does not have a hospital of their own. If the staffs are injured, they have to go to the local hospital, which worsens the health condition. One of the striking facts is the absence of shift alterations. This makes the staffs tired, which results in frustration towards executing the allocated duties and responsibilities (Lam, 2014). The staffs suffer from certain illnesses, which lacks the remedies. There is no plan from the administration of the hotel to provide treatment and cure.
The lights in the entrance are very dim, which is prone to assaults and robberies. The lifts are defective. Negligence towards this direction leads to hospitalization of the victims. Dangerous chemicals are carelessly kept within the hotel premises, which results in the incidences of burns, fumes and chokes. Overcrowding is also a hazard, which compels the guests to suffer from suffocation and stampedes (Bromiley et al., 2015).
Risks associated with the hazards and priority for treatment
Risks evident in the hotel situated in The Rock and their treatment means are as follows:
Dim lights at the entrance of the hotel is a risk, as it generates the issues of assaults and burglary. Along with this, outsiders might enter into the hotel premises, causing disturbances to the guests. These risks make the process of attracting more customers difficult. The treatment needed in this direction is improving the security of the entrance. 24 hours CCTV surveillance is needed for ensuring the safety and security of the staffs and the guests (Aven, 2016).
Old lifts traps the passengers in the middle of the floors, generating the risks of accidents. Anxiety is the common outcome, which can be disastrous, as in the case of the client who suffered from stroke due to such lift instances. Experiments need to be done for such lifts, so that no such instances occur within the hotel premises.
Poorly stocked first aid kit
Inadequate first aid facilities aggravates the health issues of the staffs and the guests. Negligence or delay in the provision of first aid facilities can lead to death or paralysis. The treatment on a priority basis is checking whether there is enough stock in the first aid kit (Ho et al., 2015). Frequency needs to be maintained in this checking, for averting any adverse situations. This checking reduces the obligations to rush to the local doctors for medications.
Use of unidentified detergents
Exposure of unidentified chemicals generates side effects for the workers, which causes burns if used without basic skills, expertise and knowledge. The major drive behind this is the absence of labelling on the chemicals like detergents. Lackadaisical approach towards the storage of the chemicals can aggravate the health risks for the staffs as well as the guests. The treatment in this case is complying with the legislations of the safety regarding the use of the chemicals (Pritchard & PMP, 2014).
Accomodating more people in the auditorium areas is a risk. This is because if they do not possess the basic skills of handling the emergency situation, it would just add to the complexities. Under such a situation, lack of knowledge towards food and safety measures is a hazard. In this case, well trained staffs are needed for effective handling such cases in an efficient and effective manner.
Management level controls for addressing non-compliance with legislations
Spontaneity is needed in terms of dealing with the risks and their controls. Mention can be made of the elimination method, where the risks with least intensity is placed at the bottom. Typical example of this is the personal protective equipment. Risk control needs to be started from the top level, moving down the hierarchy (Hillson & Murray, 2017). One of the best ways for the hotel to control the risks is to eliminate them. For example, the old lifts can be replaced with a new one. Substituting the defects bring innovation within the workplace, which is an effective means for attracting more and more customers towards the brand image. The following is the hierarchy of controls for the risks:
Engineering controls relates to the installation of 24 hours CCTV surveillance. The control is also of exposing a conscious approach towards replacement of the old first aid kit with that of the latest one. Administrative controls relate to effective managing of the human resource management for averting the instances of risks (Hopkinson, 2017). Here, induction training gains prominence in terms of making the staffs aware of the workplace safety measures. Mention can also be made of the personal protective equipment, which helps the staffs in taking care of the personal safety. Presence of this would not have resulted in the cases of burns.
Risk controls for the identified hazards
The role of the management is crucial in terms of controlling the risks. This can be done through the means of policies and procedures. The administrative staffs are entrusted with the responsibility of looking after the procurement procedures, dim lights and old lifts. The treatment for this is immediate renovation, so that mishaps can be averted (Ho et al., 2015). The presence of written health and safety policies and plans would be beneficial in reducing the frequency of hazards. Training is essential for the staffs in terms of making them aware about the risks and their intensity. Existing and the new employees need to be trained on the workplace safety. Physical inspections are advantageous in terms of gaining an insight into the aspects, which needs immediate attention. For example, if the managers make personal visits to the storage area, then they can make plans about acquiring the additional facilities. Human resource management is essential in terms of catering to the recruitment of required staffs instead of just adding to the workforce (Aven, 2016). Within all these, communication is vital in terms of transmitting the authentic information to the right place at the right time. Spontaneity in this direction is assistance towards ensuring the safety of the staffs and the guests.
Cost benefit analysis for non-compliance, hazards and recommended controls
Bright light at the entrance of the hotel
Reduction in the instances of assaults and burglary
Installing 24 hours CCTV camera
Reduction in the crimes at night
Recruiting flexible security guards for both day and night
Reduction in the intervention of the outsiders
Repairing the old lifts
Decrease in the trapping, choking and suffocation instances by lifts
Training of the staffs on workplace health and safety
Enhancement of the skills, knowledge and expertise of the staffs on handling emergency situations
Stocking of the first aid kit
Effective handling of the emergency situations
Regular committee meetings
Revisions in the plans and programs on workplace policies and practices
Development of risk management procedures
Strategic vision towards reducing the risk levels
Table 1: Cost benefit analysis of the risks in the hotel located in The Rock
Consequences of not improving compliance and managing workplace hazards
Non-complaince to the legislations on the workplace hazards compels the staffs of the hotel to encounter illegal instances. The consequences depend on the severity of the non-complaince. These are of three types- improvement, prohibition and non-disturbance. Improvement relates to the situation when the recipient is entrusted with the responsibility to offering remedies for the risks. Time specific responses might prove beneficial in mitigating the intensity of the risks (Bromiley et al., 2015). For example, the time of 2 months can be set for recommendations towards repairing the defective lifts. In case of prohibition, discussions prove effective in terms of seeking the remedies for the risks. For example, the legislation prohibits the exposure of chemicals in open for ensuring the safety of the staffs and the guests. Non-complaince to these instructions makes the statutory bodies liable for suing the management of the hotel. In case of the non-disturbance, notice is issued to the staffs for ceasing any such aspect, which might be a disturbance in the stay of the guests. A specific time limit is issued, within which the risk level needs to be mitigated (Lam, 2014).
The assignment proves successful in providing an insight into the basics of risk management. Identification of the risks is vital in terms of seeking mitigation strategies. Involving the staffs in the meetings result in the development of policies and procedures effective for the reducing the levels of the potential risks.
Aven, T. (2016). Risk assessment and risk management: Review of recent advances on their foundation. European Journal of Operational Research, 253(1), 1-13.
Bromiley, P., McShane, M., Nair, A., & Rustambekov, E. (2015). Enterprise risk management: Review, critique, and research directions. Long range planning, 48(4), 265-276.
Chance, D. M., & Brooks, R. (2015). Introduction to derivatives and risk management. Cengage Learning.
Glendon, A. I., Clarke, S., & McKenna, E. (2016). Human safety and risk management. Crc Press.
Hillson, D., & Murray-Webster, R. (2017). Understanding and managing risk attitude. Routledge.
Ho, W., Zheng, T., Yildiz, H., & Talluri, S. (2015). Supply chain risk management: a literature review. International Journal of Production Research, 53(16), 5031-5069.
Hopkin, P. (2018). Fundamentals of risk management: understanding, evaluating and implementing effective risk management. Kogan Page Publishers.
Hopkinson, M. (2017). The project risk maturity model: Measuring and improving risk management capability. Routledge.
Lam, J. (2014). Enterprise risk management: from incentives to controls. John Wiley & Sons.
McNeil, A. J., Frey, R., & Embrechts, P. (2015). Quantitative Risk Management: Concepts, Techniques and Tools-revised edition. Princeton university press.
Pritchard, C. L., & PMP, P. R. (2014). Risk management: concepts and guidance. Auerbach Publications.