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In a fast-paced working environment, café owner and barista Blake asks his staff to communicate and be aware of each other and their surroundings throughout their shift. 

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This video is a part of a series developed for National Safe Work Month 2017, focusing on our seven priority industries as identified in the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022

Café owner Blake and barista shares the unique hazards faced in a fast-paced hospitality environment, including heat, slips and trips, working around the general public, manual handling and repetitive work. He always ensures his staff are rotating in and out of repetitive tasks, maintain a constant flow of communication, and are aware of each other's presence in the workplace. 

About the presenter

Blake Proberts is the owner of, and barista at Two Before Ten café in Canberra City.

National Safe Work Month – Accommodation and food services video

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[Opening visual of slide with text saying ‘National Safe Work Month, October 2017’]

Blake Proberts, Café owner/Barista:

We deal with a lot of heat, so burns and slips. The next one would probably be spillages. So, obviously, it's quite a wet environment. We do roast our own coffee, so we do a lot of manual handling. We move quite large volumes, tonnes of coffee a week. So, really, it's just trip hazards, customers leaving things in odd spots, obviously, is a big one, so people will leave their bag maybe at the bottom of a table. So, we've got a couple of steps within the café, and we've got some tape on that, some yellow tape. I think, just any time you deal with a high volume of people, you're gonna be presented with some risks that are not prepared for.

It is quite a fast-paced environment, which tends to mean that you're quite aware of what's around you at the time, but the repetitiveness of making a thousand coffees a day, the biggest thing that we notice is RSI and baristas getting injuries within their wrists and stuff, so it's more or less just rotating them in and out of those positions to make sure that they're not doing that same motion day-in, day-out, every single day.

Your number one hazard, I would say, in any workplace is the people you're working with and knowing where they are, and around them. I think if you go into any bar or café you'll notice everyone says ‘backs’ as they walk behind you. A big hazard anywhere is people just not alerting you to their presence, I guess, and you turn around and you've got a bunch of hot coffees and you walk into them. I guess the main thing here is, so it would be don't stop, and communicate, make sure you're talking to the people around you.

October is National Safe Work Month. Visit the website to find out how you can get involved. Safety is everyone's business and your knowledge and experiences are worth sharing.

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[Closing visual of slide with text saying ‘National Safe Work Month, safeworkmonth.swa.gov.au, #safeworkmonth’]


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Last modified on Thursday 27 September 2018 [9021|63046]