Risk management in sex work

This guidance explains the process for managing risks in the sex industry. It is for employers, self-employed people and people who manage or control a workplace. Employees may also benefit from the guidance.


Protection from hazards and risks

The welfare of people who work in the sex industry and their clients is a priority. Sex workers, their clients and others must have protection from hazards and risks to their health and safety. Putting in place and following a process to manage hazards and risks is an important part of workplace safety.

The risk management process

A hazard is something that can cause harm. A risk is the chance of a hazard causing harm. Harm includes injury, illness and death. Like other industries, the sex industry has a wide range of hazards and risks. The risks must be controlled, so far as is reasonably practicable.

A safe and healthy workplace requires an organised approach to finding and fixing hazards and risks. This approach is known as the risk management process.

The risk management process is a continuous cycle. It begins with consultation between employers and their employees. The process then follows a series of steps. The steps are:

  1. Identify hazards.
  2. Assess the risks those hazards create.
  3. Control risks. Do this by eliminating the risk. If it's not reasonably practicable to eliminate risks, reduce them as far as is reasonably practicable.
  4. Review and revise risk control methods.


The OHS Act places health and safety duties on employers and others. One OHS Act duty requires employers to consult with employees. Under the OHS Act, your employees can include:

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

Consultation between employers and employees is an important part of risk management. It continues through every step of the risk management process. Employers must consult with employees about certain things that will affect them or are likely to directly affect them. This includes when:

  • finding and investigating hazards and risks
  • deciding how to control risks
  • planning changes to how work is done
  • planning changes to the workplace
  • planning changes to the equipment, substances or other things used at the workplace

Employers have to give employees a reasonable opportunity to share their views. Employers also have to take employees' views and suggestions into account.

Consultation with employees must involve sharing information about their health, safety and welfare.

Find more information about consultation on the WorkSafe website.

How to manage work health and safety risks

The following 4-step process can help control health and safety risks in the sex industry.

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

Related pages