Managing Risk in the Food Services Industry

The following provides practical guidance to assist persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) in the food services industry to meet their work health and safety duties.

The food services industry includes businesses that prepare and serve food, such as restaurants, cafés, clubs, bars, pubs, fast food outlets…
There can be significant health and safety risks in the food services industry, increased in part by the large proportion of young (15-24 years old), part-time or casual workers.

The work is typically physically demanding and conducted under pressure which may lead to a higher risk of injuries.

Workers are also required to engage with the public which introduces an increased risk of violence and harassment.

Young workers may be at an increased risk of workplace injury due to their lack of experience and maturity, and they may be less aware of WHS risks and responsibilities.
They may also be:
 developing their skills, competencies and physical capabilities
 unfamiliar with appropriate workplace behaviours
 reluctant to make requests, ask questions or speak out about problems
 overly keen to please and make a good impression, and
 over-confident in their capabilities

Managing risks
As a PCBU, you must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers and others at your workplace. This includes providing and maintaining a work environment that is without risks to physical and psychological health and safety and ensuring workers are given the necessary information, training, instruction and supervision that is needed for them to carry out their work safely.

To manage health and safety risks you must:
 identify hazards in the workplace
 assess the associated risks
 implement control measures to eliminate or minimise risks, and
 regularly review control measures to ensure they remain effective.

You must do these things in consultation with your workers and any health and safety representatives.

There are guidelines to assist your Safety representatives to carry out their duties under the Act:

How long is it since you have reviewed your WHS practices and procedures?

Contact Anne (0431 969 595) or email to discuss our comprehensive (Cert IV level) course Implement and monitor WHS practices which will bring you up to date on current and impending changes across the sector.