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Inspectors will be visiting hospitality venues from today to remind employers not let the festive season rush prevent them talking about safety with new and existing workers.

SafeWork NSW Executive Director of Compliance and Dispute Resolution, Tony Williams, said there had never been a more important time to drive safety messages about how to prevent burns to those on the frontline as the NSW hospitality industry has needed to do some heavy recruiting coming out of lockdown.

“There are many young and inexperienced workers employed in restaurants, cafes and pubs to cater for the increase in patrons in the lead up to Christmas and summer holidays. It is important to not let the season rush distract employers from ensuring their workers are kept safe,” Mr Williams 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.

“SafeWork NSW and Liquor & Gaming NSW are partnering to reduce burn incidents and keep our hospitality workers safe during the busy festive season.

“From today, inspectors will be out visiting venues and reminding employers that before new employees start work they need to know how to work safely, be appropriately supervised and supported. We want all hospitality workers to enjoy working in the sector and a big part of that is being kept safe.

“A new resource, Hospitality Safety Basics – Preventing Burns, will be disseminated by Inspectors during their visits and is designed to increase awareness of the incidence of burns and provides practical safety advice including talks on how to prevent chemical, electrical and hot surface or substance burns in the workplace.

“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,” Mr Williams said.