Arts and recreation services

Arts and recreation services engage in artwork, live performances, events, exhibits as well as sporting, recreational and amusement activities.

Businesses in this category include:

  • museums
  • art galleries
  • heritage houses and places
  • botanic gardens and zoos
  • national and state/territory parks and nature reserves
  • artists, musicians, writers and performers creating original work
  • live performance providers and producers including opera and ballet company operations, orchestra companies, theatre and musical productions and theatre restaurants
  • performing arts venues, including rehearsal venues.

Top causes of injury

There are a vast range of activities and workplaces within this industry but the work is always physically demanding.

Each workplace presents its own safety challenges. But, across the industry common causes of injuries include:

  • sprains and strains from repetitive movements and manual handling practices
  • falls, slips and trips
  • hearing loss due to noise.

Common hazards

Offices and desk-based activities feature across many areas of this industry but so to do venues with heavy and potentially dangerous equipment, theatre facilities with noise and light as potential risks, and venues such as museums, art galleries, and national parks where the presence of the public complicate the safety risks.

Each workplace is different. You need to know what the hazards are in your business so you can assess the risk they pose.

To help you get started, we’ve prepared information on how to identify hazards and manage the risks common to the arts and recreation services 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 relevant industry group. For venues, performers and producers of life performance, Live Performance Australia, the Performing Arts Connections Australia, the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA), and the Australian Writers’ Guild. For musicians, the Live Music Office can provide industry information. The National Association of Visual Artists is the peak body for the visual sector in Australia.

For botanic gardens and park employees, the Public Service Association of NSW (PSA) may provide industry information and support.


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.

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).

You also need to ensure you comply with your workers compensation requirements.

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