The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Halekulani Corp., owner and operator of Halekulani Hotel in Waikiki Beach, with 14 serious safety violations following a routine inspection.
"The hotel industry is one of the biggest employers in Hawaii, and it's critical that owners and operators have strong safety and health programs," said Galen Lemke, director of OSHA's Honolulu Area Office. "Halekulani has an obligation to protect its staff and ensure a safe working environment."
The 14 serious violations involve personal protective equipment use and availability, fire extinguisher maintenance and inspection and a lack of electrical safe work practices by maintenance workers, such as the provision of appropriate equipment for electrical work.
OSHA also found that the hotel had failed to provide training in hazardous waste operations and emergency response standards. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The three other-than-serious violations involve a lack of labeling and access to electrical panels and labels on gas cylinders. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
OSHA began its investigation Jan. 16 during a regularly scheduled inspection under a local emphasis program for hotels. The full service, five-star hotel employs more than 800 people who service more than 450 rooms.
Facing $49,000 in total proposed penalties, Halekulani has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the findings to the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Halekulani said it received a written notification on April 26 of the results of the inspection. The hotel says all of the issues brought up at the January inspection were immediately addressed for rectification. Halekulani is working to clarify and address any other citations noted in the subsequent April notification.
"There is nothing of greater importance, nor that we take more seriously, than the safety and well-being of our guests and our staff, which will always be our unconditional priority," said Peter Shaindlin, chief operating officer of Halekulani Corporation.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Honolulu office at 808-541-2680.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.