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The accommodation and food services industry has a high number of work-related injuries and illnesses.

  • In 2014–15, the industry had an incidence rate of 7.9 injuries and diseases per 1,000 workers, which was 25% lower than the rate for the Australian workforce.

A young workforce

The accommodation and food services industry has the highest proportion of workers (43%) aged 15–24 years.

This is significantly higher than any other industry—retail is the next highest with 32%—and almost three times higher than the proportion for the Australian workforce.

Highest proportion of part-time workers

The industry has the highest proportion of part-time workers (people who usually work less than 35 hours per week) in Australia.

  • In 2012–13, 58% of workers in the industry worked part time, which is higher than any other industry and almost twice as high as the proportion of part-time workers in the Australian workforce.

Injuries and illnesses

Between 2010–11 and 2012–13:

  • Body stressing led to the highest proportion (32%) of serious claims in the industry. Nearly half (48%) of all body stressing disorders arose from muscular stress while lifting, carrying or putting down objects.
  • The bodily location most commonly affected by injuries and diseases that led to serious claims was the hand, fingers and thumb, which accounted for 22% of serious claims.
  • The median time lost from work for a serious claim was four weeks.
  • The median payment for a serious claim was $4,700.  

Serious claims in accommodation and food services industry

Percentage of serious claims for each subdivision by mechanism of injury or disease, 2010–11 to 2012–13 combined

Mechanism of injury or disease

Clubs

Accommodation

Pubs, taverns and bars

Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services

Industry total

Body stressing

37%

40%

29%

28%

32%

Muscular stress while lifting, carrying, or putting down objects

51%

40%

60%

49%

48%

Muscular stress while handling objects other than lifting, carrying or putting down objects

30%

43%

24%

31%

33%

Muscular stress with no objects being handled

13%

12%

12%

12%

12%

Falls, trips and slips of a person

23%

26%

22%

25%

24%

Falls on the same level

81%

75%

76%

83%

80%

Falls from a height

14%

20%

20%

12%

15%

Hitting objects with a part of the body

10%

10%

13%

14%

13%

Hitting moving objects

53%

46%

65%

62%

58%

Hitting stationary objects

47%

54%

35%

38%

41%

Being hit by moving objects

11%

11%

15%

12%

12%

Being hit by moving objects

34%

35%

31%

41%

37%

Being hit by falling objects

30%

30%

25%

30%

29%

Being assaulted by a person or persons

11%

13%

27%

8%

13%

Heat, electricity and other environmental factors

4%

4%

6%

11%

7%

Contact with hot objects

92%

93%

94%

97%

96%

Vehicle incidents and other

5%

5%

6%

5%

5%

Mental stress

8%

3%

7%

3%

4%

Exposure to workplace or occupational violence

32%

15%

46%

23%

30%

Work related harassment and/or workplace bullying

28%

20%

13%

23%

21%

Work pressure

14%

18%

17%

16%

16%

Chemicals and other substances

1%

2%

1%

1%

1%

Total

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

Columns may not add up to 100% because the table outlines selected mechanisms of injury or disease.

Source: National Data Set for Compensation-Based Statistics.

Our national approach

The Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012–2022 has identified the accommodation and food services industry as a priority to reduce the high number of work-related injuries and illnesses. It records around 7,000 serious claims per year, which accounts for 6% of the total number of serious claims in Australia.

  • The Strategy aims to reduce the incidence of serious injury by at least 30% nationwide by 2022, and reduce the number of work-related fatalities due to injury by at least 20%. The accommodation and food services industry will play a critical role in meeting these targets.

Since the Strategy launched, Safe Work Australia and all jurisdictions have been working collaboratively with the industry, unions, relevant organisations and the community to reduce fatalities and injuries in the accommodation and food services industry.

Further advice

SWA is not a regulator and cannot advise you about compliance in the accommodation and food services industry. If you need help, please contact your state or territory work health and safety authority.

This site is undergoing constant refinement. If you have noticed something that needs attention or have ideas for the site please let us know.

Last modified on Monday 27 March 2017 [1461|32536]