Health & Safety
Assignment on Health & Safety
C O N T E N T S
Chapter 1 : The purpose of regulations on Health and Safety
Chapter 2 : Importance of maintaining Health and Safety
Chapter 3 : Ensuring Health and Safety
Chapter 4 : Some key laws relating to Health and Safety
Chapter 5 : Source of Information
As indicated in the assignment topic, the researcher has taken up a position (let us say as a ‘junior manager’) in a large city centre hotel in facilities department. The Facilities Manager has asked him to investigate health and safety in that hotel and produce a booklet on the same for distribution among the employees. In accomplishing the assignment, he will focus on the subjects of the assignment topic.
The purpose of regulations on “Health and Safety”.
The cornerstones of health and safety legislation are about providing a healthy and safe working condition in industries. The junior manager therefore informs all hotel employees and employers about the purposes of regulations on “Health and Safety”. The primary purposes of these regulations centre around avoiding distressful experiences in hotels as descried hereunder:
“The 2006/07 HSE survey of self-reported work-related illness estimated that 2.2 million employees were made ill by their work that year. Over one million people suffered musculoskeletal disorders, and over 400,000 suffered stress anxiety or depression. Over 10.5 million working days were lost owing to stress, anxiety or depression in 2005/06. Overall, the total number of working days lost during 2005/06 was reported to be over 30 million. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has estimated that the annual cost of absenteeism of UK is £10 billion, rising to £20 billion if indirect costs are counted.
The above quotation delineates a gloomy workplace environment, partly relevant to hotels. It deeply urges both hotel employers and employees to understand the importance of a right workplace in industries including hotels.
The facilities department is responsible for continuously ensuring an environment in their hotel so that the employees can work without being physically and otherwise harmed while:
-installing security systems
-buying office furniture
-costing of cleaning and catering function
-sorting out devastating litigation from staff mainly following the consequence of terrorist cruelty.
-managing uninterrupted utilities supply and car parking.
-improving IT and communication infrastructures.
The junior officer stresses the need for implementing health and safety regulations, some pre-requisites for hotel management and workforce. He points out that the employees and employers must obey the right regulations for business itself, their safety and the customers’ satisfaction. These regulations make a workforce feel free and ensure safety and compensation if they suffer disaster at work. Laws in these areas of business are concerned with health and safety.
The junior manager informs that the purpose of laws and regulation in this industry is to ensure an uninterrupted continuity of business for revenue earning, avoiding loss of human lives, resources and properties. He reiterates that the purposes regulations shortly are:
-Develop risk awareness
-Understand risk elements
-Understand how to eliminate or reduce risk factors
-Avoid litigations and cost involved
-How to deal with compensation packages in case of death or fatal injuries while at work
Importance of maintaining health and safety.
2.1 After making the employers and employees aware of the purposes of health and safety regulations, the junior manager is justifying to them the importance of maintaining health and safety. Absence of this environment causes loss of lives and properties which fails a hotel. It is essential to speak about what may happen in a hotel workplace if health and safety environment is absent. Hotel employees and employers may understand what harms happen when lacking a positive health and safety condition from the following exhibit:
2.2 In health and safety regulation matters, the junior manager lets the employers understand that they have to ensure a safe workplace for workers and employees by:
-offering them adequate, food, rest, toilet, storages etc.
-diagnosing problems, caused by alcohol, smoking and drugs
-saving them from air-pollution
-keeping them unharmed from nuisance and anti-social activities
-safeguarding them from materials and chemicals--hazardous, toxic and dangerous by nature.
2.3 Hotels have to maintain health and safety and guarantee good workplace, otherwise they suffer fatally as noted below:
One third of major accidents at place occur due to steps and trips. About 11000 major injuries are there in a year. Over three-day absence is responsible for more than 27000 accidents. To maintain a healthy and safe workplace cannot therefore be ignored.
By observing as above the junior manager indicates the intensity of damages that hotels may face in absence of appropriate health and safety environment. Frank Booty remarks that in a construction, if importance of health and safety is not assigned, the consequence will be that a management will fail to take, among others, the following steps:
-assess risks involved and have recurrence of accidents.
-recruit and retain skilled workforce in house and outside site
-arrange for health and safety system
-and select right equipment.
As assessing importance of the subject, the junior manager urges that hotel managements must materialize the above-said steps.
2.4 Understanding the importance of the subjects is essential to:
-ensure undisturbed continuity of business
-protect the business from cost involved in case of accidents and recurrence of accidents.
-ensure health security for everyone concerned, employees and employers, hotel guests and members of public.
-ensure an inbuilt safe and health-friendly workplace.
Ensuring Health and safety
It is indispensible for all hotel employees and employers to know how health and safety may be ensured. The junior manager advises them to be aware of the following factors:
a. Maintaining health and safety is a top-priority concern in a hotel operation. Identifying risks and ensuring correct pre-cautions against the same are very urgent.
b. Hotel employers and employees should know what a risk is : A risk is a sum total of actions which include -
“… a hazard or unsafe practice;
-a peril capable of being ensured, i.e. fire or storm;
-the subject matter of an insurance policy;
-the loss potential as assessed by an insurance company, surveyor-estimated maximum loss;
-the actual value at the risk”.
c. Ensuring health and safety is reducing the risk factors. The most important key factors are risk awareness and effective communication. (Alexander 1996)
d. Hotel management must prioritize risk control and measures. To avoid risk, the junior manager informs that all hotel workers and management must know the elements of a risk. They include:
-the causes of risk
-what causes the risk to happen
-the magnitude and frequency of risk
-loss from a risk.
-how losses can be contained
-how to apply risk finance method
-organizational pattern supporting management strategy.
- Effectively reducing health and safety risk in a large hotel needs to address issues, among others, such as:
-determining the value at risk
-complying with legal obligations
-how risk financing may be alternatively arranged.
- The employers must take the following steps to secure an almost risk-free working environment in a hotel:
-The workplace in a hotel must be in right condition
-Working areas must be obstruction free
-Floor holes, cracks, loose mats must be regularly checked.
-Slippery residues must be cleaned by using correct cleaning equipments and method.
-People must be warned of wet floors and alternatives routes be provided.
-Work and machinery must be organized to avoid spills.
-Electrical cables must be appropriately positioned to avoid trailing cables.
-Covers should be used to fix cables down.
-When floors are wet and dusty, free safety footwear should be provided to the employees
-Changes of level and floor slopes be marked.
-Door mats must be provided between wet and dry places.
- The junior manager considers that a risk reduction program largely depends upon hotel top managements. Other Safety Program the managements must arrange are the following:
-Related pre-employment physical examination.
-Commitment to employee’s safety and its expectation from them must be made known in a written statement policy.
-On safety issues, inputs of line employees should be used.
-Properties must be regularly checked.
-Targeting accident reduction, progress to be monitored and reduction should be rewarded.
-Introducing departmental responsibility to accident reduction.
-Introducing suitable duty routine, enabling injured employees to resume work early.
-Creating great sense of safety through signs, posters, awareness, health fairs, rewards etc.
-imparting training and more trainings
8. Hotel Building Facilities:
The hotel managements must provide adequate and renovated walkways, parking lots, stairs, slip-resistant flooring materials, efficient entrance doors, sliding doors to balconies, tempered glasses in right areas as these are:
Safety in Guest bath:
The managements must give attention to guest rooms, by arranging hot water temperature, slip resistance bathtubs showers, bathroom floor covering, electrical shock, constructing proper bathrooms are some safety concerns. To ensure safety appropriate steps should be taken to:
-Temperature of guest-use water may be set not higher than 1200F (490 C) at the source and 1100F (430C) at the tap.
-Separate hotel water system from commercial facilities, guestrooms, locker rooms kitchen and laundries should be set.
-Bath and shower valves providing pressure and temperature, maintain a pre-set mix of hot and cold water and automatic adjustment to system changes should be selected.
The hotel management has to ensure other safety measures which include :
-doors of guest room should be self close and lock automatically.
-emergency lighting system should be checked monthly basis
-exit door should be clearly visible
-a key control system work
-if keys are missing, lock should be replaced
-landscaping should be clean but not providing hiding spots for criminals.
-adequate lighting levels in parking lots, exposed areas and walkways.
Some key laws relating to Health and Safety
4.1 Key laws and Regulation concerning health and safety at workplace which every employee and employer should be aware of are :
-The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
-Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992
-Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) (and various amendments)
4.2 The Health And Safety at Work etc Act 1974:
This Act requires that:
Employers should guarantee health and safety to employees by offering them safe equipments, handling, storage and transportation of goods, providing them with information, training and supervision, giving them safe workplace and safe environment and facilities.
Organizations with five or more employees must issue a health and safety policy statement about implementing policy and update the same when necessary and avoid risking others from their activities. They should ensure that supplied goods are safe to use and train them how to use.
4.3 Manual Handling Operation Regulation 1992:
Manual handling means carrying of a load by hand and bodily force, like lifting, putting down, pushing etc. Employers should:
-Hotel Managements should redesign moving of load by automatic process
-Employee should be provided with correct information about weight of every load and its heaviest side.
-Mechanical left aid such as trolleys, hoists should be available.
-Employees exposed to hazardous substance must have risk assessment
-When working in a confined space, employees must have safe systems of work.
-Before a work begins, sufficient emergency arrangement should be made.
4.4 Control of Substance Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002.
This law requires that employers must assess health risk of employees who work exposing themselves to hazardous substances. They should be provided with health surveillance and their health records be kept for 40 years.
Source of Information
Hotels should inform correctly guests and public on health and safety issues. Changes in business operation occur owing to the growth of internet, global web and mobile communication. Many traditional business mechanism are disappearing. Small enterprises need to ‘adapt or die’. Development of electronic network and communication have made information on the subject quicker. Important sources are:
-On line information system including website
-Helpdesk both in hotel’s reception and HR department.
B i b l i o g r a p h y
Alexander K (Editor) 1996 Facilities Management ---- USA: Taylor & Francis
Booty F (Editor) 2009 Facilities Management 4th Edition UK: Elsevier Ltd.
Stipanuk D et al Hospitalities Facilities Management and Design ---- USA: Educational Institute of the American Hotel & Motels Association.