Case Study On Risk Management
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Breaches in Workplace, Health and Safety Laws
The Workplace, Health and Safety laws were implemented as from January, 2012; they have played a significant role in regulating the manner through, which organisations and companies provide safe and healthy working environments to their clients (Taylor & Easter, 2013). These regulations guide safety issues i.e. Provision of efficient First Aid Services to compensation of workers (Taylor & Easter, 2013). However, in the context of the Tourist Hotel, it appears that there are several cases of breach of these laws as discussed herein:
Breach of First Aid Provision Laws
The Workplace, Health and Safety Laws stipulate five major steps that have to be considered by organizations in the case of providing first aid services for instance: Conducting First Aid Assessment, Training employers on First Aid provision services, accessibility of first aid equipment and services, availability of first aid drills as well as procedures and evaluation of business activities to identify risks. However, the Hotel has violated this law owing to the fact that that are no First Aid kits available; additionally, new employees have not been provided with induction training on provision of first aid services, hence increasing their risks to injuries and harm.
Handling Plastic Materials and Chemicals
The Workplace, Health and Safety Laws provide a list of checklist for organizations that handle plastics and chemical materials for instance: Labelling of packaging materials, safety requirements, understanding the chemicals that are used among others. Some of these requirements have been breached in the Hotel. To begin with, 120 non-English speaking workers have been using chemicals to clean glass materials; however, the packaging materials are not labelled; the workers also do not have protective gear while using these chemicals, a scenario that that has subjected them to burns, breathing problems as well as burns to the eyes. These injuries are an indication that the workers are not fully aware of the procedures that should be followed while using these chemicals, hence indicating a breach of the requirement by WHS that workers should understand the chemicals they use in their workplace.
Breach of WHS Requirement on Reporting Accidents and Injuries at Workplace
According to the Workplace, Health and Safety, employees are entitled to compensation in the case of injuries in their workplace. Additionally, the WHS requires that any injury, regardless of its magnitude should be reported and recorded in the injuries log book to ensure that their insurance companies are properly informed. Moreover, the employer should take appropriate steps when workers are injured to provide them with rehabilitative services until they experience full recovery. In the case of the hotel, these actions have not been observed. No injury has been reported, thus, all the injured employees have not been provided with appropriate compensation.
Breach on Managing Workers’ Health and Safety Risks
The Workplace, Heath and Safety Law indicate that there are certain illnesses that are caused by extreme heat at the workplace (Squelch & Guthrie, 2012). It provides a list of signs such as fatigue, exhaustion et cetera, that should be considered by employers when evaluating worker’s job environment (www.workcover.nsw.gov.au). It appears that this stipulation has not been considered in the company considering the fact that a significant number of employees have been absent, while others indicate signs of frustration and tiredness. The WHS provides a list of actions i.e. reschedule of physical work as a means of handling these issues (www.workcover.nsw.gov.au). There is also a broken lift that has not been functioning for several days; this is a breach of the New South Wales Law requirement that employers should provide a safe working environment by assessing and making corrections on their facilities. There is also poor security at the hotels taking into consideration the fact that one of the visitors was assaulted in a recent incident.
Violation of New South Wales Law on the use of Confined Space
Through the Workplace, Health and Safety Laws, the New South Wales Law provides regulations on the requirements of using a confined space (Brooks, 2013). It asserts that confined spaces are workplaces open or closed that subject employees and other stakeholders to certain risks. However, it appears that the hotel will breach this law by accommodating 150 visitors on a space meant for 100 people during a Christmas Party. This will increase their vulnerability to certain risks.
Hazards within the Workplace
An analysis of this hotel indicates various dimensions of hazards; hazards are conditions that pose certain threats to the lives, health, environment as well as properties. In the context of the hotel, various hazardous conditions exist as follows:
Slips, Falls and Trips: Employees and visitors in the hotel can suffer injuries from slips, falls and trips for instance: Some workers may slip and fall when cleaning i.e. slippery bathroom floors. On the other hand, visitors may also slip and fall or even trip while walking within the Hotel facility.
Ergonomic Hazards: Workers within the hotel may also suffer from injuries caused by ergonomic hazards for instance: Bending, preparing beds, pushing carts during room service delivery and falling while cleaning various parts of the hotel facility. In some cases, they may also experience injuries from accidental fires in the kitchens or burns from hot food products.
Carcinogenic Hazards, Dermal and Respiratory: One hundred and twenty non-English speaking hotel workers use chemicals to clean glasses within the hotel. This subjects them to incidences of skin burns, eye burns or breathing challenges.
Work-related Stress: Employees within the hotel may also suffer from heavy workloads, poor pay, lack of compensation for over-time and from work-related injuries, insecurity, inadequate supplies, faulty lifts et cetera.
Infectious Agents: Owing to the fact that the hotel deal with food products and accommodation services, employees are at a risk of suffering from infections as a result of getting in contact with chemicals as they clean, cook and service clients. Growth of mould and other microbial contaminants also increased the risk of employees and visitors to microbial contaminants.
Risk Assessment will cover three major stakeholders: Workers, Management of the Hotel and Visitors:
Priority for Treatment of the Harms
Harms/Injuries/Lossess with highest Priority for Treatment
Burns, Bone Fractures, Mental Challenges, Eye Infection, Skin Infection and Poisoning: These are harms/injuries that may affect visitors, hotel managers and workers. They have the highest priority for treatment as they have a direct and adverse impact on health.
Loss of Life and Property: This is another category of loss that may occur in the hotel. Loss of life may be caused by severe injuries when the victim is not provided with immediate medical care. On the hand, the hotel may lose property in case of an accidental fire or when the hotel is attacked by robbers or criminals. This category of loss may not be treated, but requires that the management report immediately to relevant authorities for appropriate actions to be taken.
Appropriate Management Level Controls
Local Authorities i.e. through the Australian Workplace, Health and Safety Legislation (WSH)
Local authorities i.e. NSW formulate and implement health and safety laws that are meant to guide provision of a safe working environment for all types of organisations and companies. The implementation of safety i.e. the Workplace, Health and Safety Laws that guide compensation for workers injured during work-related activities, provision of protective equipment for workers, training on safety issues and risk assessment strategies enhances the performance of workers, hence increased profitability.
Hotel Management i.e. the Health and Safety Department
This department is responsible for formulating internal organisational safety and health policies for purposes of ensuring that the health and safety of its employees as well as visitors is not jeopardized. On the other hand, this department is responsible for implementing safety rules issues by local authorities i.e. the New Wales Health and Safety Laws et cetera. Moreover, the department of health and safety should provide appropriate training to its employees on safe modes of operations as well as the importance of adhering to organisational policies and regulations. Consequently, the Health and Safety Department should ensure that the hotel facility is equipped with proper health and safety management tools for example: Fire extinguishers, properly equipped First Aid Kits, Fire exists, safety notices among others.
This category of management also plays a significant role in ensuring the hotel complies with applicable health and safety laws. To begin with, employees are expected to observe all organisational safety laws at all time for instance: Use of Personal Protective Gear during work processes i.e. when cleaning. Additionally, all employees are supposed to report any incident of injury to the relevant department for immediate and appropriate actions to be implemented. Employees are also expected to provide guidance to visitors within the facility in regard to observation of critical health and safety issues.
The hotel has various policies and procedures meant to enhance health and safety of its clients; as such, all visitors are expected to observe personal safety and adhere to all safety policies issues by the hotel management.
Application of safety rules provided by local authorities such as the Workplace, Safety and Health Legislation reduces the occurrence of occupational risks in organisations. Implementation of Risk assessment procedures ensures that the hotel identifies potential risks, hence formulating appropriate actions on a timely manner.
Hotel Management/ Department of Health and Safety
As aforementioned, the hotel management through the Department of Health and Safety implements various internal rules and regulations to guide safety and policy issues. Additionally, it implements occupational safety rules formulated by Local Authorities for instance: The New Wales Safety and Health legislation. The implementation of these policies reduces risks to injuries such as: Burns from accidental fires, injuries from slips and falls, loss of life as a result of theft and violence, skin contamination from the use of chemicals, prevention of breathing problems et cetera.
Employees are also supposed to observe health and safety rules implemented by the Hotel Department of Health and Safety for instance: They are supposed to use personal protective equipment in accordance to organisational policies. This reduces their risk from chemical burns, breathing problems and injuries that may occur as a result of slips and falls.
Visitors or clients who utilize various services from the hotel also have an important role to play in relation to safety and health issues. To begin with, they are supposed to adhere to the safety policies of the hotel i.e. reporting any hazardous incidence to the workers for immediate actions to be taken. This may reduce their risk to injuries from chemical exposure, accidental fire or even loss as a result of theft.
Cost-Benefit Analysis of Non-Compliance, Hazards and Recommendation Controls
The Australian Workplace, Health and Safety Laws provide guidelines regarding the actions that may be taken on organisations that do not comply with their safety rules (Booth, 2013). There are three types of notices that may be offered to an organisation in case it does not comply with the safety rules. The organisation may be issued with a penalty notice in case it operates without certain licenses. In some cases the organisation may have to make payments for such penalties to be withdrawn or subject the matter in the hands of the local courts. On the other hand, the organisation be issued with a probation notice; such notices are provided in the case of an accident or injury that may occur among workers, management and clients. It is also offered when activity is considered a serious health risk to workers or even clients. The concept of prohibition notices is to inform the organisation to stop certain activities or change the manner through, which some of its activities are performed (Foster, 2012). In the case of the hotel, a prohibition notice may be issued on its faulty lifts.
The third type of notice that may be issued on the organisation due to non-compliance is improvement notice. It is a type of notice issued for conditions that are less serious; as such, an organisation may continue with its activities as the recommended improvement areas are managed.
Organisations can also face prosecutions as a result of non-compliance and fraud under the Workplace, Health and Safety Act 2011 (Lingard, Blismas & Cooke, 2013). Employers found guilty of not providing their employees with appropriate compensations i.e. for injury are at a higher risk of facing prosecutions from District and Local Courts.
Compliance to safety and health laws as stipulated by the Workplace, Health and Safety Act of 2011 has been associated with various benefits (Lingard, Blismas & Cooke, 2013). The first benefit occurs in the sense of that it creates a positive rapport between law-makers and organisations. This positive rapport is also crucial for the image of the organisation among its clients and the general population.
Additionally, adherence to safety and health laws among the management team, workers and clients reduces incidences of injuries, loss or property and in some cases loss of lives (Lingard, Blismas & Cooke, 2013). This is beneficial to the organisation as it reduces organisational expenditure, especially those that are caused by worker’s compensation for injuries and loss of property. This also facilitates the motivation of employees towards performing their duties, hence improving their productivity and the overall organisational profit.
Consequences of not Improving Compliance and Management of Hazards in the Workplace
In the case the organisation fails to comply with the safety rules implemented by the WHS Act 2011, it may face the following consequences: Risk of being subjected to fines and court prosecution i.e. when it fails to compensate its workers for injuries and illnesses experienced in their work place (Booth, 2013). The organisation may also incur extra operational costs i.e. financial resources spent while compensating workers for their injuries. Additionally, the organisation may incur extra losses when making certain repairs i.e. making repairs on the broken lift et cetera. On the other hand, the organisation’s image may also be negatively impacted among its clients and visitors well as among the general public in case its workers are subjected to poor working conditions, when clients are subjected to hazardous conditions i.e. broken lifts and when it is in constant conflict with local authorities.
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Booth, R. 2013. Hazards at work: Health, safety, and welfare in the Australian workplace. Sydney: TAFE (NSW).
Brooks, A. 2013. Guidebook to Australian Occupational Health & Safety Laws (3rd ed.). North Ryde, N.S.W.: CCH Australia.
Foster, N. J. 2012. Workplace Health and Safety Law in Australia Update No 2.
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Prosecutions. n.d.. Retrieved April 8, 2015, from http://www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/law-and-policy/enforcement/prosecutions
Squelch, J., & Guthrie, R. 2012. Workplace health and safety: managing the risk of workplace bullying. Legal Issues in Business, 14, 9.
Taylor, G., & Easter, K. 2013. Australian Workplace Safety Issues (2nd ed.). Perth, W.A.: TAFE Publications.
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