The hospitality industry records high numbers of workplace injuries. This page explains some of the risks hospitality workers are exposed to and how to stay safe.

The hospitality industry includes restaurants, cafes, caterers, clubs, pubs and hotels.

Many workers in hospitality are considered vulnerable workers, they may speak limited English or work part-time, late nights and weekends.

Top causes of injury

Manual handling injuries, such as sprains and strains, are one of the top harms in the NSW hospitality industry.

This video series demonstrates safe work procedures for room attendants who are at high risk of manual handling injuries.

Other harms include:

Watch the video below to find out how to work safely with hot oil.

This video provides tips on working safely with hot oil.

Common hazards

Each workplace is different. You need to know what the hazards are in your business to assess the risks they pose.

  • noise
  • machinery and equipment
  • manual handling
  • electricity
  • chemicals
  • bullying
  • fatigue
  • violence

Examples of injuries

Serious injuries have occurred in the hospitality industry. Identify the hazards in your workplace, get safe systems of work in place, and avoid incidents like these.

Arm crushed

A kitchen assistant in a large club had her arm crushed while preparing desserts in a large mixing machine with no guard or automatic off-switch.

Noticing a hair in the mixture, she leaned forward to remove it, slipped and had her arm crushed by the mixer’s revolving dough hook.


A 19 year-old part-time restaurant employee was electrocuted when he touched a live electrical cable while cleaning a clamshell grill.

The company was fined $120,000 and, according to the judgement, simple remedial steps would have prevented the accident.

Chemical burns

A worker was burnt in the face and permanently blinded in one eye while cleaning beer lines with chemicals.

The chemical was not properly diluted and personal protective equipment was not worn.

Headaches and hearing loss

Mary had headaches, felt irritable and experienced ringing in her ears after local bands played during her shifts as a part-time bar attendant in a local hotel.

More information

Safety alerts

Read these safety alerts to learn how to avoid common hazards:

We can help

We offer a range of services to help you improve safety in your workplace:

Small business safety

Find out how to make safety the top priority in your business. It's easy to do with our WHS toolkit.

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