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Your Safety at work comes first

Health and Safety is core business for the SDA.

Every worker has the right to a safe workplace.  When you go to work each day, you should return home safely and in good health.

Workplace health and safety refers to the physical, mental and social well-being within a workplace.

Ensuring safe and healthy workplaces has always been one of the fundamental roles of the SDA and we know that health and safety is important to our members. Working together we can ensure that our workplaces are safe and productive.

Your Safety at Work Demands Action!

The most common health and safety hazards our members in retail report to us are:

  • Workload/Rostering
  • Violence, abuse and harassment, including sexual harassment, from customers
  • Manual Handling
  • Heat and cold
  • Cuts, burns and abrasions
  • Slips, trips and falls

The most common health and safety hazards our members in fast food report to us are:

  • Cuts, burns and abrasions from food preparation, hot liquids and surfaces
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Violence, abuse and harassment, including sexual harassment, from customers
  • Manual handling
  • Work related stress from excessive workload

The most common health and safety hazards our members in warehousing report to us are:

  • Manual handling from repetitive movements such as picking, loading and unloading, lifting, pushing and pulling
  • Slips, trips and falls, including falls from height
  • Heat and cold
  • Working with machinery, including forklift – being hit and vehicle noise
  • Work related stress and fatigue from excessive workload and night shift


Reporting health and safety incidents at work is the key to action.

You should report all incidents that impact your health and safety at work, including physical hazards such as manual handling hazards, spills that can cause a fall, faulty equipment and mental health hazards such as incidents of customer abuse and violence.

Report any incidents to:

    • Your supervisor or manager
    • Your Health and Safety Representative or SDA Delegate
    • Your SDA Organiser or Branch office

Reporting an incident at work:

    • Alerts your employer that there is a workplace hazard in your store which may trigger a risk assessment and consideration of measures to eliminate or minimise the risk of an ongoing hazard
    • Means your employer must provide you with appropriate support, if an injury has occurred
    • Provides useful data to help identify hazards and risks which can protect health and safety for you and your co-workers in your workplace

If you encounter any health and safety hazards at work and are unsure what to do, contact the SDA.

The SDA is here to help.

Research & Reports

Menopause at Work

The primary aim of this study is to determine the impact of menopause on working women and possible solutions to improve worker comfort and temperature management.

Read the full report

No One Deserves A Serve

In December 2017, the SDA officially launched the No One Deserves A Serve campaign to create awareness about retail and fast food workers facing constant abusive and violent behaviour from customers at work.

The initial survey which accompanied the launch of the campaign received responses from over 6000 workers about their experiences with customer abuse and violence.

The results were damning.

Customer violence and abuse was – and still remains – a serious health and safety issue for SDA members and workers in the retail and fast food industries.

No One Deserves A Serve began as a promotional tool used to remind shoppers and customers to treat retail and fast food workers with respect.

While our ads and promotional material on social media have continued and enjoyed success, the campaign itself has evolved and developed into an important part of the SDA’s DNA and a movement that actively secures measures effective in curbing customer abuse and violence – these include training, incident reporting, customer signage, banning notices and increased security.

Car Park Safety Win at Woolies

After a spate of tyre slashing, members had voiced their concerns around not feeling safe when they entered and exited the store in the dark via the side door...

Read More

Bunnings Store Closure Due to Mould Infestation

A Bunnings temporarily ceased operations due to mould infestation in store.

Read More

Ph: 13 11 14

Beyond Blue
Ph: 1300 22 4636

Kids Helpline
Ph: 1800 55 1800

The National Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence Counselling Service
Ph: 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

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