NSW: burns in hospitality under safety spotlight

The following article is a news item provided for the benefit of the Workplace Health and Safety profession. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Institute of Health & Safety.
Friday, 7 January, 2022 - 12:00
Industry news
New South Wales

SafeWork NSW recently reminded employers in the hospitality industry about the importance of workplace safety and the risk of burns – particularly for younger and less experienced workers.

There are many young and inexperienced workers employed in restaurants, cafes and pubs to cater for the increase in patrons over the Christmas/New Year break and summer holidays, according to SafeWork NSW executive director of compliance and dispute resolution, Tony Williams.

“It is important to not let the season rush distract employers from ensuring their workers are kept safe,” he said.

“We want owners and managers to ensure all workers have the knowledge, equipment and practices to be able to work safely as a quarter of all burn injuries occurred in the hospitality industry between January 2018 to March 2021, with the injured workers predominately males aged 15-34 working near or with chemicals, electricity and hot surfaces or substances.”

Williams said SafeWork NSW and Liquor & Gaming NSW are partnering to reduce burn incidents and keep hospitality workers safe.

Inspectors will be visiting venues and reminding employers that before new employees start work they need to know how to work safely, be appropriately supervised and supported, he said.

“We want all hospitality workers to enjoy working in the sector and a big part of that is being kept safe,” said Williams.

New guidance material, Hospitality Safety Basics – Preventing Burns, which is being disseminated by inspectors during their visits, is designed to increase awareness of the incidence of burns as part of SafeWork’s at-risk workers' strategy.

“After a long break for many workers, and with a host of new employees, there has never been a more important time to ensure our hospitality workers know how to keep safe from burns,” Williams said.