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Ensuring health and safety in food delivery services

Whether your business produces and delivers food or employs delivery drivers, it is essential you prioritise your workers’ health and safety and manage the risks inherent to this type of work.

Businesses which offer food delivery services must consult with their riders, drivers and workers about safety. Consulting with contractors and sub-contractors and establishing contractual arrangements to embed and ensure safety standards are also key to creating a safer work environment.

To improve health and safety for delivery workers in your business, start by reviewing and addressing how you approach the below common risks and issues.

Systems and work design

  • App design and its impact on how work is conducted, including fatigue.
  • Unsafe work systems such as unrealistic delivery deadlines leading to risky driving or riding.
  • Payment incentives that may encourage risk taking.
  • Poorly maintained vehicles and equipment such as unroadworthy cars, bikes or scooters (i.e. flat tyres, faulty brakes and indicators).
  • Lack of adequate training and supervision to deal with aggressive clients, safety when making home deliveries, competent operation of bikes and vehicles, and understanding hazardous manual tasks.
  • Performing  hazardous manual tasks, such as carrying and transporting awkward and or heavy loads.
  • Risks when delivering to remote and isolated destinations.

On-road issues for riders

  • Unfamiliarity with road rules or how to safely operate bikes or scooters.
  • Hazards from interactions with buses, cars and bikes on public roads.
  • Exposure to traffic fumes.
  • Unsuitable or poorly maintained PPE (i.e.helmets, hi-vis clothing, protective gloves and footware, etc).

Environmental hazards

  • Street furniture, pedestrians, animals, challenging terrain, narrow streets, absence of cycling infrastructure.
  • Weather hazards such as heat, rain and hail, wind, icy conditions and natural disaster events.
  • Visibility issues caused by poor lighting or riding at night.
  • Slips or trips hazards such as those associated with poorly designed, slippery or uneven surfaces, obstacles in accessways or hazards that can’t be easily noticed.

Psychosocial hazards


  • Managing the risks in the food delivery industry – Food outlets checklist (PDF, 0.62 MB)
    This tool assists food outlets ensure they do all they reasonably can to ensure the health and safety of delivery workers when they are working. It will also help identify opportunities to improve work health and safety practices. Remember eliminating hazards and risks is best practice.
  • Safe Work Australia
    View SWA's Deliver yourself home safely website resources. Available in several languages.
  • WHSQ's Safety Fundamentals toolkit
    The Safety Fundamentals toolkit is a useful resource for employers, including small businesses and sole traders. It explains your legal obligations and how to comply with the law to create a safer, healthier and more successful business. The kit has seven modules you can work through in sequence or start at your topic of choice.

Need more help?

You can access additional resources and support through our Injury Prevention and Management (IPaM) program. IPaM is a joint initiative delivered by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and WorkCover Queensland. It’s free and designed to help Queensland businesses develop and implement sustainable health, safety and injury management systems.