Hospitality: Safety basics

Understand the common hazards and risks in hospitality work, and ways to make work safer.


Making hospitality work safer

Our tools and guides can be used to assess and control the specific risks in your workplace.

Young worker - kitchen TV commercial


Hospitality employs people in places like hotels, restaurants, pubs and clubs. It’s an industry with high staff turnover, and people often work part time, late nights and weekends. Many in this industry are young and inexperienced. Some people may not speak much English. This makes it all the more important to make sure your workplace is safe.

  • handling glassware and broken glass
  • cuts and burns from preparing food
  • lifting heavy or awkward objects like kegs, sacks and slabs
  • repetitive work like cleaning floors
  • occupational violence, sexual harassment or threats
  • slips, trips and falls on wet or oily floors or in poor lighting
  • noise exposure from loud music
  • exposure to hazardous substances like cleaning chemicals


Involving your employees in health and safety issues can result in a safer workplace. That's why consultation is an important part of risk management. In certain situations employers must consult about health and safety issues with employees and health and safety representatives (HSRs) if they have them.

Risk management process

  1. Find the hazards in your workplace.
  2. Assess the risks associated with those hazards. You don't have to do a formal risk assessment if there is already information about the risk and how to control it.
  3. Control the risks.
  4. Monitor and review your risk controls. Revise the controls if they are not working.

Health and safety legal duties

Under Victorian occupational health and safety law, there are specific duties to ensure health and safety in workplaces.


Examples of employer duties:

  • For your employees, you must provide and maintain a working environment that is safe and free of risks to health, so far as is reasonably practicable. Employees may include contractors and agency staff.
  • Give your employees the necessary information, instruction, training or supervision to enable them to do their work in a way that is safe and without risks to health.
  • Ensure that the conduct of your business does not endanger other people (including customers).
  • Report notifiable incidents to WorkSafe.


Examples of employee duties:

  • Take reasonable care for your health and safety in the workplace. You must also take reasonable care for the health and safety of others who may be affected by what you do or don't do.
  • Cooperate with your employer about any action they take to comply with the OHS Act or Regulations. For example, use equipment properly, follow safe work policies and procedures and attend training.
  • Don't intentionally or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything at the workplace to support health, safety and welfare.