Date of Award

2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

Abstract

The management of risk within a nursing home environment is widely viewed as an undertaking perfom1ed by the owners or managers of nursing homes. The residents of these homes are reliant upon the owners and managers to keep them safe, due in part to a traditional belief that they are the experts and have a greater understanding of risk. To establish risk it is first a requirement to have an understanding of levels of risk and risk management techniques. Risk appreciation is often influenced by heuristic representativeness, as well as social and cultural influences. The higher level of risk within a nursing home environment is due in part to the demographic of the residents as well as health issues experienced by elderly people. This increase in risk level places a greater importance on risk mitigation systems. Fire and smoke doors fom1 a pivotal part of the defence in depth principles central to risk minimisation and therefore need to be maintained in order to perform correctly. The study measured aspects of fire and smoke door maintenance compliance by undertaking audits on 160 doors in 22 nursing homes within Western Australia. The results of the auditing process were then evaluated to establish the non-compliance levels. The results were set' against the research question to allow interpretations and assumptions to be made. The study demonstrated a non-compliance level of 87% on the fire and smoke doors audited, with 935 failure items identified. The study also demonstrates that despite the requirement for nursing homes to be accredited and audited, there are still unacceptably high levels of non-compliance. As a result of the study's findings, assumptions were able to be drawn to · the increased risk exposure for residents and staff with consideration made on the reasons for such a high rate of non-compliance.

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