Information, instruction, training and supervision in the sex industry

This guidance is for employers in the sex industry. It explains their duty to provide information, instruction, training and supervision. The guidance may also benefit employees and independent contractors.


A duty to provide information, instruction, training and supervision

The OHS Act places health and safety duties on employers and others. One duty requires employers to provide employees with:

  • information
  • instruction
  • training
  • supervision

As an employer, you have to meet a certain standard when fulfilling this duty. You must provide what is 'necessary' for employees to work safely and without risks to health. Under the OHS Act, your employees can include:

  • independent contractors you have engaged
  • employees of the independent contractors

What to provide

The degree of information, instruction, training and supervision that is necessary can vary. It will depend on the types of hazards in the workplace. It will also depend on how much employees already know about the risks and how to control them.

Information, instruction and training have to take into account employees' requirements. For example, skills or experience, disability, language, literacy and age.

A risk assessment will help you work out what is necessary.

You must provide supervision where supervision is necessary to work safely. This is particularly important for employees who are vulnerable. Vulnerable employees include, for example, sex workers who are:

  • new
  • inexperienced
  • young
  • from different cultural and language backgrounds

Again, a risk assessment will help you work out what supervision is necessary.

The induction of new workers should include details about the workplace. This includes details about the information, instruction, training and supervision provided. Ensure there are opportunities to ask questions, including after the induction period.

Examples of what to include

The information, instruction and training you provide should include, for example:

  • policies and procedures for your workplace
  • details about the workplace, including emergency exits and equipment and workplace practices
  • the risk management process
  • designated work groups, also called DWGs
  • health and safety representatives, also known as HSRs
  • how to deal with workplace emergencies, including violent or abusive customers or employees
  • information about identifying sexual and physical assaults and how to report them
  • information about sex worker exploitation, including how to identify and report it
  • the processes in place to deal with customers who refuse to pay or to adhere to agreed services
  • the procedures for an emergency evacuation
  • potential hazards in the workplace, including how to identify them and how to assess and control risks
  • safer sex practises
  • how to deal with exposure to blood and body substances
  • first aid
  • how to prevent hazardous manual handling
  • safe techniques for massage
  • how to provide safe bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism (BDSM) services
  • how to use, clean and maintain equipment
  • how to report a problem or maintenance issue and who to report it to
  • the procedures in place to protect sex workers' privacy
  • the procedures in place to prevent employees being stalked and harassed
  • information about customer coercion

This is not a complete list. What you provide will depend on the hazards in your workplace.

You might engage staff members to provide information, instruction, training and supervision. In this case, ensure those people have necessary skills and experience. Also ensure they are familiar with the business’s policies and procedures.

Review regularly

Review your instruction and training programs regularly. Also review them when:

  • there is change to work processes or equipment
  • there is an incident
  • new control measures are introduced
  • an HSR requests a review
  • relevant legislation changes
  • any other issues affect the way the work is done

Keep records of employee inductions and training. Provide regular refresher training, at least every 12 months.

WorkSafe Advisory Service

WorkSafe's advisory service is available between 7:30am and 6:30pm Monday to Friday. If you need more support, you can also contact WorkSafe using the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) or the National Relay Service.

1800 136 089 More contact options

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