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Reception worker

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As a reception worker, you are at the front-line of the organisation and present the first impression of your organisation. You are often the first point of contact and often interact with members of the public. You may also be operating a range of logistics that help keep the organisation running.

The Office Safety tool can help you identify hazards and risks associated with the work you do so you can take positive action to keep yourself and others safe in the office.

Potential harm

  • Anxiety
  • Assault
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Stress

Top risks

  1. Musculoskeletal disorders.
  2. Sedentary.
  3. Mental stress.
  4. Illness and disease.
  5. Slips, trips and falls.

What you can do for yourself

As a reception worker, there are actions you can take.

  • Be trained in skillful communication and de-escalation techniques.
  • Show a level of empathy towards your customers.
  • Maintain alertness levels and observe people entering the workplace.
  • Keep your workspace free of objects that could be used as weapons.
  • Ensure you know the correct mail handling procedures for your organisation.

Communication and consultation is vital to building a strong health and safety culture in the workplace. Ways you can contribute include to:

  • contribute at meetings
  • seek information from your intranet
  • establish an open and constructive approach to talking to colleagues and managers
  • give feedback on policy and procedures when asked.

What you can do for your team

  • Take reasonable care to ensure that your behaviour and actions do not adversely affect the health and safety of others.

What employers can do for reception workers

  • Design the reception workspace so it provides protection to workers from aggressive or aggrieved visitors.
  • If the workplace experiences constant exposure to dissatisfied visitors, have alternate reception staff trained and implement a roster for shorter periods of time to allow reception staff a break from front counter duties.
  • Have an emergency button and response procedure in place.
  • Have mail sorted and examined away from reception.

More information

For more information, see:

  • Employees and other workers for complete information on the role and duties of workers, and practical strategies.
  • Ergonomic hazards for information on physical factors in the environment that may cause musculoskeletal injuries, such as sedentary work and slips, trips and falls, and how to eliminate these hazards.
  • Psychosocial hazards.
Page last reviewed: 15 May 2020

Comcare (Office Safety tool)
GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT 2601
1300 366 979 |

Date printed 21 Apr 2024