Wholesale trade

The primary activity of businesses in this industry is the buying and selling of finished goods to businesses.

It includes organisations that buy or sell to businesses for commission.

A business that sells to both the general public and business is classified in this industry when:

  • its premises are warehouses
  • it maintains significant storage facilities
  • when it is not located or designed to attract a high proportion of walk-in customers.

Top causes of injury

There are a vast range of workplaces within this industry. Each workplace presents its own safety challenges. But, across the industry common injuries are:

  • lifting and moving heavy objects
  • hit by moving objects
  • slips, trips and falls at same level and from height.

Common hazards

Common hazards in this industry include machinery and equipment, especially equipment such as forklifts and pallets. 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 wholesale trade 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 group. Due to the diverse nature of the industry, a range of organisations might be of assistance. For employers, the Australian Industry Group NSW is a good place to start and for workers, the National Union of Workers (NUW) will provide 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 supplements 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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