Case Study-Campus Food Systems Essay
Campus Food Systems Timothy W. Turner Human Resource Management Methods Professor Sherbert February 21, 2012 Abstract Cindy Breen, an intern working with Campus Food Systems (CFS) was assigned the task of writing a report on work accidents in the food service areas. This task became more of a moral issue for her when her supervisor asked her to omit pertinent information from her final report. To choose whether or not she should listen to her supervisor versus what she felt would be the right thing to do would indeed test her moral character.
In my opinion, safety is of the utmost importance in any work environment and the only way to fix a safety issue is to document any incidents that may occur and to (above anything else) be honest. However, Cindy’s supervisor could hold her future in his hand if she does the right thing because he is in charge of part of the final evaluation/grade of her internship. Should Cindy go against her morals and omit the information? Is the omitted information even worth including in the report? Does omitting some incidents mean the detriment of an organization? What should Cindy do? ” Campus Food Systems The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created in order to “ensure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance” (OSHA, 2011). So, when the Campus Food Systems (CFS) became at risk of being taken over by a much bigger corporation, Jake Platt tried to find a way to ensure that CFS remained a self-operated program.
His way of going about this was by putting an intern (Cindy Breen) in charge of student help and assigning her the task of creating a report on accidents in the workplace. This report would then be sent to President Sheila Dawes who was now the new president of the university where CFS operates. It would also be sent to the Human Resource Department of the university so they can see that CFS was obeying the laws of OSHA. Mr. Platt did the unthinkable by asking Cindy to basically lie by telling her “to minimize the severity of the reported occupational illness and accidents” (Ivancevich, 2011, p. 564).
He wanted her to do this by omitting certain health and safety issues from the report because he wanted to make a great impression on President Dawes in order to prevent CFS from becoming a victim of a takeover. Faced with whether or not to omit information from the report or doing what she thought was the right thing to do, Cindy wrote a list of what she felt her options were: “1. Prepare the report as Jake has asked, with omissions. 2. Prepare the report, but include the incident reports. 3. Prepare the report including all incident reports, previously unreported accidents, and Rick’s serious illness. . Go to Fred White, CFS director and Jake’s supervisor, and give him a complete report. 5. Send the complete report directly to President Dawes. 6. Call OSHA and ask for someone to inspect CFS. 7. Leak the story to the student newspaper and the local press” (Ivancevich, 2011, p. 565). Like Cindy, many of us have been put in a predicament of choosing what’s right from what’s wrong in the workplace. We feel that because someone could hold our future in their hands, we should listen to and do everything they ask us to do without any questions.
However, when it comes to health and safety in the workplace, according to the United States Department of Labor (2011), “The OSHA Act protects workers who complain to their employer, OSHA or other government agencies about unsafe or unhealthful working conditions in the workplace or environmental problems. You cannot be transferred, denied a raise, have your hours reduced, be fired, or punished in any other way because you used any right afforded to you under the OSHA Act” (OSHA). Whether Jake’s threats were supposed to be threatening to Cindy or not, she does not have anything to worry about when it comes to her doing the right thing.
My thoughts are that even if Cindy’s future was jeopardized, she should go with her morals and prepare the report with every incident, health issue, and accident in it. This is important because these reports can help save other people from being hurt in the long run. Changes are definitely necessary when there is an organization with as many health and safety incidents as CFS has had. Since OSHA is the foundation of safety and health in businesses, a thorough inspection by OSHA is a must also because it will allow for changes to begin and occur within CFS.
In the military, there is a chain of command each soldier must follow when reporting an incident. Just as this chain of command has been put in place, Cindy has the option of going to the next person within her chain of command…this person being Fred White. If Cindy feels Jake will follow through with what he has hinted at then I feel Fred will be the person to reprimand Jake and take him out of this position so he won’t make any other intern or person he is in charge of feel as though their job is at stake. After everything is said and done, then the question would probably be, “Should Cindy leak the story to the press? My thoughts on this issue would be that leaking the story to the press could bring the unwanted attention to CFS that it was trying to avoid. This could be detrimental to CFS because it would be more of a reason for a takeover to occur. CFS has enough to deal with because it is a self-operated program and leaking this story to the press will most likely open doors for bigger corporations to take control of the program. Does asking Cindy to lie by omission show that Jake has CFS’s best interest and welfare at heart? “Proper documentation of safety rules and policies can help reduce company liability after an accident” (WorkSAFE Week, 2011).
By asking Cindy to omit certain information from her report, Jake is putting CFS’s welfare at stake. Where he feels he is saving the company, he is opening the door for lawsuits which could eventually close the program down eventually. In the end, if Cindy listens to Jake, she could very well end up messing up her future career because someone who gets hurt on the job will most likely tell about the other incidents anyway. She could also take the risk of telling and messing up her future career if she does not tell the right person.
Safety and health of employees should be a top priority because these incidents and accidents could very well cause someone their life if the problem is not solved. The only way to solve this problem is by inspecting all incidents that occur and, the one way this can be done is by Cindy going with her morals and reporting every incident CFS has had occur. One unreported accident or incident could eventually turn into a future death of an employee. Do morals outweigh a person saving their career? You be the judge. Bibliography Ivancevich, J. M. , (2010). Human Resource Management (11th ed. ). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Missouri Employers Mutual (2010). WorkSafe WorkSAFE Week 2011: Make Your Safety Program More Powerful with Documented Expectations Retrieved from http://www. worksafecenter. com/safety/Expert+Insights. page? detailId=29 United States Department of Labor (2011). About OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration Retrieved from http://www. osha. gov/about. html United States Department of Labor (2011). Occupational Safety and Health Administration FAQs: Can I be punished or discriminated against for exercising my rights under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)? Retrieved from http://www. osha. gov/OSHA_FAQs. html