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Deliveries to reception

Workplaces sometimes accept mail deliveries through their reception area. This may pose security risks and require mail handling systems to be in place to protect others.


  • Do not accept or open unexpected packages.
  • Train staff to identify suspicious packages.
  • Have up-to-date mail handling procedures.

Potential harm

  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Shrapnel injuries from explosions
  • Poisoning

Identified hazards and controls

Biological hazard


  • Contaminated mail.

What workers can do

  • Do not accept or open unexpected or suspicious packages.
  • Undertake training in mail handling procedures and how to identify suspicious packages.
  • Know the proper postal address for mail to be delivered to when advising clients.

What employers can do

  • Train employees working at reception in how to recognise a suspicious package.
  • Document procedures to be followed and train workers who will manage those procedures.
  • Make appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) available if required.
  • Make the postal address for correspondence easily identifiable on the website.

Bomb threat


  • Disgruntled customer or another member of the public.

What workers can do

  • Do not touch parcels that have been left on the doorstep.
  • Report any safety concerns immediately to your employer.
  • Only accept parcels from legitimate delivery companies.

What employers can do

  • Train reception staff in how to respond to a bomb threat.
  • Arrange to alert emergency services – such as fire, police, ambulance and a tactical response group – in the case of a bomb threat.
  • Ensure that procedures are up to date and that staff who are responsible for responding to the threat are familiar with the required processes.

Trip hazard


  • Delivered items left in a corridor or walkway.

What workers can do

  • Have larger deliveries redirected to another entrance, such as a loading bay.
  • Report any safety concerns immediately to your employer.

What employers can do

  • Advise reception staff to contact the addressee and arrange for immediate collection of delivered items.
  • Allocate a specific storage area for deliveries, away from spaces people use and travel through.

More information


  • See Ergonomic hazards for more 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.



Page last reviewed: 04 May 2021

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

Date printed 25 Apr 2024