Health care and social assistance

Key safety information for the sector that includes:

  • hospitals
  • medical services
  • pathology and diagnostic imaging services
  • allied health services
  • other health care services
  • residential care services
  • child care services
  • other social assistance services

Read about what we're doing to prevent injury and improve health outcomes in the Healthcare and social assistance sector plan.

Top causes of injury

This industry has one of the highest rates of work-related injuries and illnesses reported each year. It is the fastest growing industry in NSW, due to an ageing and growing population and increasing demand for child care, and home and community-based care.

The top causes of injury include:

  • muscular stress
  • falls on the same level
  • harassment and bullying
  • work pressure

Common hazards

The nature of the work, particularly caring for people, presents specific hazards for workers, as does working in an environment with high job demand, time pressures and often unique resourcing needs.

Each workplace is different and 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 health care and social assistance industry including:

Don't forget - you must notify blood, body substance and needlestick injuries.

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.

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 and the cytotoxic drugs and related waste risk management guide provides practical advice on the clinical handling of cytotoxic drugs and related waste

Safety management resources

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

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

Check our website regularly for updates on your legislative obligations, current incidents and prosecutions, new safety tips and general health and safety information.

Follow us on 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 prosecutions and enforceable undertakings.

Subscribe to industry publications and join your industry group. For health care and community workers, these organisations may be useful:

For health care managers and service owners or directors, the following organisations will provide information and assistance:


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 supplement the National compliance and enforcement policy.

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

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