Accommodation and food services

Businesses operating accommodation and food services provide short-term accommodation for visitors such as hotels, motels and camping grounds. It can also include pubs, cafes, restaurants and taverns.

It does not include:

  • gambling institutions (casinos)
  • amusement and recreation parks
  • long-term residential caravan parks
  • theatre restaurants
  • sporting clubs
  • other recreation or entertainment facilities providing food, beverage, and accommodation services.

Reduce the risk of injury in your workplace.

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Top causes of injury

There are significant safety risks in this industry because a large proportion of workers work casually or part-time, and young workers make up over half of the workforce. Injuries are common. Often the work is physically demanding, conducted under pressure, and workers engage with the public where there is a risk of violence or harassment.

The most common causes of injuries in this industry are:

  • manual handling
  • slips, trips and falls
  • burns and cuts
  • customer and/or client violence.

Common hazards

You need to know what the hazards are in your business so you can assess the risk they pose. Each workplace will be different with specific demands on staff.

To help you get started, we’ve prepared information on how to identify hazards and manage the risks common to the accommodation and food service industry, including:

Resources to help you

As the work health and safety regulator in NSW, we have a wide range of technical, business, management and support services to help you make our business safe.

Our 'resource' and 'hazard' libraries

Our resource library and hazard library is where you will find up-to-date information on managing hazards and risks as well as codes of practice.

We also have extensive information that will help you improve and review your risk management processes. This includes videos, checklists, training and supervisory information, and safety alerts.

SafeWork Australia also has a fact sheet on developing a hazardous chemicals register.

Our safety management resources

Our Safety starts here section has a range of essential resources including:

Our business resources

Our safety support services

If you employ fewer than 50 workers, you can book request a workplace advisory visit by one of our SafeWork inspectors who will help you identify hazards and develop risk management procedures.

Our mentor program, where other businesses work with you to improve safety in your workplace, is also a valuable addition to your risk management program.

You can call us on 13 10 50 at any time for assistance in finding the services you need quickly.

Keeping up to date

Get into the habit of checking our website twice a week for updates on your legislative obligations, on current incidents and prosecutions, for new safety tips and general health and safety information.

Link your business to our social media channels including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and never miss any of our news.

Subscribe to the SafeWork Wrap, our monthly newsletter, which contains safety tips, general information, industry updates, and news about our prosecutions and enforceable undertakings.

Subscribe to industry publications and join your industry groups.

For business, these include:

Service NSW provides information about opening a cafe, restaurant or small bar in NSW.

Industry organisations for workers include:


The NSW Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) and the NSW Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017 (WHS Regulation) define the obligations both employers and workers have to health and safety in the workplace.

The WHS legislation is supported by our Compliance policy and prosecution guidelines, which supplements the National compliance and enforcement policy.

The WHS legislation addresses specific risks in the accommodation and food services industry. These include working with hazardous chemicals, clauses 328 - 391 of the WHS Regulation 2017.

You can find a complete breakdown of business operations that fall within the accommodation and food services industry from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

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