Brewing coffee safely

In workplaces across Victoria, the ritual of brewing coffee is as ubiquitous as the morning sun. However, amidst the aromatic steam and comforting hum of coffee machines, it's crucial to prioritize safety.



In workplaces across Victoria, the ritual of brewing coffee is as ubiquitous as the morning sun. However, amidst the aromatic steam and comforting hum of coffee machines, it's crucial to prioritize safety.

Occupational health and safety (OHS) considerations play a vital role in every workplace, and the coffee-brewing area is no exception. In this guide, we'll delve into the key aspects of brewing coffee safely, ensuring that the energizing elixir remains a source of comfort and productivity, without compromising the well-being of workers.

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High quality coffee beans and a manual coffee grinder.

Machine safety

The heart of any coffee corner is the coffee machine. Regular maintenance and inspection are essential to keep these machines operating safely. WorkSafe Victoria recommends a routine checkup schedule to ensure that coffee machines are in good working condition. 

This includes:

  • examining electrical cords for fraying
  • checking water reservoirs for leaks
  • verifying that all safety features are operational

Moreover, it's crucial to educate employees on the proper use of coffee machines. This includes guidelines on handling hot surfaces, using designated switches, and avoiding overloading electrical outlets. By fostering a culture of machine safety, workplaces can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and injuries related to coffee brewing.

Electrical safety

Coffee machines rely on electricity, making electrical safety a paramount concern. WorkSafe Victoria emphasizes the importance of using appliances that comply with safety standards. This includes ensuring that power cords and plugs are intact, without any visible damage. 

Employees should be trained to recognize potential electrical hazards and report any issues promptly.

Furthermore, workplaces must implement a clear protocol for the use of electrical outlets. Overloading power points with multiple appliances can lead to short circuits and pose a fire risk. 

Educating staff on the importance of using designated outlets and avoiding daisy-chaining multiple devices will help maintain a safe electrical environment in the coffee corner.

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"Caffeine- It maintains my sunny personality."


Fire safety

The combination of electricity, hot surfaces, and combustible materials in coffee corners increases the risk of fire. WorkSafe Victoria recommends having fire extinguishers readily available and ensuring that employees are trained in their proper use. Additionally, workplaces should have a designated evacuation plan in case of a fire emergency.

Coffee grounds and filters can accumulate, posing a fire hazard if not properly disposed of. Implementing a regular cleaning schedule for coffee machines and surrounding areas will mitigate the risk of fires caused by the buildup of flammable materials.

Office brewing stats

Milk storage

In the pursuit of crafting a perfect cup of coffee, sourcing quality milk and ensuring its freshness in the office is paramount. When selecting milk suppliers, prioritize those adhering to stringent hygiene standards and safe handling practices.

Proper storage is equally crucial – refrigerate milk promptly upon delivery, maintain a consistent temperature, and regularly monitor expiration dates. Implementing a systematic rotation of milk stock ensures freshness, reducing the risk of spoilage.

By embracing these practices, not only do we prioritize the quality of our coffee, but we also uphold workplace safety standards in the office coffee corner. Stay vigilant, keep it fresh, and savor the difference in every cup.


While the process of brewing coffee may seem simple, repetitive tasks can lead to musculoskeletal disorders if not performed with proper ergonomics in mind. WorkSafe Victoria encourages workplaces to assess the ergonomics of their coffee-brewing areas.

This includes ensuring that coffee machines:

  • are at a comfortable height
  • provide anti-fatigue mats
  • promoting proper lifting techniques for coffee supplies

Employees should be educated on the importance of taking short breaks and stretching to prevent strains and discomfort associated with prolonged standing or repetitive motions. A well-designed coffee corner that prioritizes ergonomics contributes to a healthier and more productive workplace.

Hazardous substances

Coffee brewing involves the use of various substances, including coffee grounds, cleaning agents, and water additives. Properly storing and labelling these substances prevents accidental exposure. Chemicals used for cleaning coffee machines should be handled with care, and employees must use personal protective equipment (PPE) when necessary.

In addition, workplaces should provide adequate ventilation in the coffee-brewing area to prevent the buildup of fumes from cleaning agents. Regular training on the proper handling and disposal of hazardous substances will contribute to a safer and healthier working environment.

A comparison of brewing methods - quality vs time

Brew method
Taste rating
Time to cup


5 stars

4 minutes

Cold drip

4 stars

20 minutes

Mocha pot

3 stars

10 minutes


3 stars

15 minutes

Pod machine

2 stars

2 minutes

Instant coffee

0 stars

who cares


Brewing coffee is more than a daily ritual; it's a shared experience that brings people together. However, ensuring the safety of this seemingly simple task requires a conscious effort to integrate OHS principles into the workplace culture. WorkSafe Victoria provides a comprehensive framework for businesses to create a safe coffee-brewing environment, fostering well-being, productivity, and camaraderie among employees. By prioritizing machine safety, electrical safety, fire safety, ergonomics, and the proper handling of hazardous substances, workplaces can transform their coffee corners into spaces that energize without compromising the health and safety of their workforce.

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

Office brewing stats

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Card group - auto

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Proof Points

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Safety first when you're brewing coffee. Check machines, handle electricals carefully, and be fire-wise.

Let's brew safe for a hazard-free coffee corner. Your perfect cup starts with a double shot of safety. 

Get grinding now

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Sip, savor, and boost your mood with coffee. 

Elevate your mental health – coffee's antioxidants and caffeine can enhance focus and lift your spirits. 

Make each cup a moment of self-care. Brew joy for a healthier mind. Take that coffee break and savor the positive vibes.