3 Safety Tips for Retailers this Holiday Season

As Australians begin to unwind for holiday season, retailers and hospitality teams are ramping up operations and bringing on new staff to help with the influx of customers. We also know health and safety inspectors will be out and about visiting retailers during the Christmas and New Year season. 

At this peak season, it’s timely to check health and safety practices are in full swing. 

Here are 3 safety tips for retailers this holiday season…

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1. COVID-19

Unfortunately COVID-19 isn’t going to disappear anytime soon.  We know that health and safety regulators are particularly focused on retailers complying with local public health orders, and putting measures in place to protect staff and customers from exposure to COVID-19.  

  • Keep on top of your COVID-19 obligations by referring to your State’s workplace directions and public health orders
  • Maintain up to date records of all COVID-19 risk control measures including your stores’ COVID Safe Plan and vaccinations records (where required)
  • Ensure your COVID Safe Plan is implemented in store. This means putting your plan into practice. If your plan states that you have QR Code posters at the front of the store and at each POS, then ensure that these are displayed in these locations.
  • Keep staff up to date with COVID requirements and your stores’ COVID Safe Plan.
  • Be prepared for a visit from a health and safety inspector or other authorised officer (State Government health department).


2. WHS Induction & Training

Whether you’re bringing on full time, part time or casual staff over the next few months (and beyond), don’t forget to provide your new starters with a decent work health and safety induction.  

Under health and safety law, retail businesses must provide the necessary information, training and supervision to all workers so they can perform their work safely.  Health and safety regulators are particularly interested in ensuring young workers (any worker up to the age of 25 years old) are given a well-designed and delivered induction. 

Not sure what your induction should include?  Check out SafeWork NSW’s Checklist for training young workers as a guide.  

Ensure that you have the resources to provide new starters with an adequate induction and maintain records of all inductions provided.


3. Work-related Aggression & Violence

Unfortunately, incidents of work-related aggression and violence have been on the rise. 

Health and safety regulators have highlighted the importance of retailers having systems and training in place to prevent and respond to work-related aggression and violence.  WorkSafe Victoria’s retail campaign will see inspectors checking how retailers are managing this risk.  If you don’t have any risk controls in place, you’re at risk of receiving an improvement notice. 

Not sure what risk controls you should have in place to manage work-related aggression and violence? Check out WorkSafe Victoria’s A guide for employers – Work-related violence’ for tips.


Tip: The ARA offers a Free (or low cost) course – Manage disrespectful, aggressive or abusive customers. This course has been established in recognition of the impact of aggression and traumatic events in the workplace – factors that increase the risk of work-related stress. This Nationally Recognised skill set is designed for all customer facing workers in Retail and Hair & Beauty industry sectors.




The material within this update is provided for general information and educational purposes in summary form on topics which are current when it is first published. The content does not constitute legal advice or recommendations and should not be relied upon as such.



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