Staying Safe on the Job: Working in Hospitality

Taking up 7% of the workforce in Australia, there is no doubt that the hospitality industry can be host to a significant portion of the workers compensation claims that are lodged. In fact, 7%, or 1,855 of all serious injury claims fall under ‘accommodation and food services’. When it comes to employees in the hospitality industry, the most common risks that will likely occur are muscle strains or a slip and fall. Thanks to the fast-paced tempo required in the day-to-day managing of a food venue, staying on top of health and safety is paramount to avoid a potential accident not only for staff, but for patrons as well.

It wouldn’t be right to move on without addressing the elephant in the room, COVID-19. Thankfully, businesses big and small around Queensland have been led by government direction over the last year to keep their staff safe in the face of a pandemic. There is an abundance of resources readily available to café, restaurant, and hotel owners and managers on what measures are legally required in order to continue trading safely through the pandemic.

Safety requirements for employees working in hospitality

Your hospitality employer is responsible for the basic things like:

  • Ensuring all equipment is maintained and safe with no fuel leaks or electrical problems.
  • Providing the necessary Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for both your job and cleaning.
  • Avoiding clutter and trip hazards and using signage to signal spills where necessary
  • Supplying non-slip floor mats in areas that are subject to excess liquid and could be slippery.
  • Training needed to complete your job tasks

The long hours needed to work in hospitality can take their toll on everyone from waitstaff to chefs. This alone can increase the risk of injury due to the decreased alertness on the job alongside the slower reflexes and general hand-eye coordination. It may seem impossible to get a full 8-hours of sleep every night when working multiple split-shifts, but there are ways to manage tiredness so that you’re safe on the job. Being self-aware of your fatigue symptoms and what they feel like, staying on top of your overall regular health and fitness, and maintaining communication with your supervisor/employer when you feel you could be putting yourself and others at risk are all simple activities to control.

We are extremely aware of the risks that come with working in hospitality, and whether your employer is or isn’t doing their best to protect you and your colleague’s, accidents can happen. The Gouldson team have been providing legal help for workers compensation claims from all types of industries and while we hope you never need us, we’re here if you do.  Get in contact with us today to find out how we can help.


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