THE ROLE OF SAFETY IN THE CONCIERGE DEPARTMENT

Tim profile photo, Les Clefs Dior
Tim O'Hara is the Head Concierge at QT Museum Wellington and is a member of the professional concierge association, Les Clefs dkOr.

 

“In New Zealand, the role of the concierge usually involves managing or supervising a team or porters and doormen and maintaining a free-flowing hotel entrance. This means you have to have a great peripheral vision, and as the old saying goes, we literally have to have ‘eyes in the back of our heads’.

The main entrance of the hotel has many potential hazards. From the high number of vehicles driving through, foot traffic and the concierge teams on shift. While we are assisting one guest with dinner reservations, we are keeping one eye on all things going on around us. Like when an adventurous child who just loves the automatic doors and will make a dash for if given half a chance; this kind of thing happens at least once or twice a week for us. We are alert and ready to act when needed.

Our main goal each day is to create a sense of arrival and departure for everyone. Not only does this add to your first and last impression of the hotel, it means a clean and tidy forecourt is a safe one, so making sure luggage trolleys are secured, that the driveway and paths are clear, and all vehicles driving through adhere to speed limits is a must at all times.

Also with New Zealand’s very unpredictable weather, on occasions making sure our hotel entries are free of slip hazards or in danger of being blown away, precautions are put in place. Even opening a car door with caution on those gale force days, especially here in ‘Windy Wellington’.

Our own safety is also paramount, being a very physical role, we need to look after ourselves as managers, we need to look after our colleagues, making sure they are using luggage trolleys when needed.

When valets are parking we need to make sure they are wearing their seatbelts and driving to the rules at all times. This also ties in with the duty of care we have when we are put in charge of our guest’s belongings.

Having sat on many health and safety teams in various workplaces over the years, this is very important to me as I personally strive to make sure myself, and my team, work in a safe environment.

As we are also a country that has a wide variety of leisure activities, that can include jumping in, off, and out of something, we must also be confident with the tour companies we work with when we are recommending activities to our guests.

This means working closely with our network of contacts and the tour operators themselves to have the confidence in knowing that what we recommend has a high level of health and safety regulations in place.

You can rest assured that when you are arriving or departing and throughout your stay with our hotels that not only are we here to show the best our cities have to offer; your health and wellbeing is also at the forefront of our minds and that your times with us and in New Zealand is safe and trouble-free.”

Tim O’Hara

Head Concierge, QT Museum Wellington

Member Les Clefs d’Or New Zealand