Is your venue prepared for an armed hold up?

By Steve Lancaster | Senior Consultant 

armed-hold-up_article-website-imageOver last couple of months there has been an alarming increase in the number of armed hold ups at licensed venues across the country. With the dramatic increase in the number of armed hold ups, venues now more than ever need to aware of the risks and have a strategy in place to protect employees.

So the question is, how would your venue manage an armed robbery?

As a Bar Manager that was placed in this situation a number of years ago, I can say from experience that it is hard on you and your staff at the time.

“When you have a sawn off shotgun placed at your head and told to hand over the money, you start shaking and sweating not knowing what is coming next.” In those days there was limited training and information surrounding how to deal with this situation as well as the affect it had on you and your staff, both physically and mentally.

As a result of the armed hold up, four out of six staff members who were involved never returned to work and a number have not been able work in the industry since. I had a few days off, but my manager at the time told me to toughen up and get back to work. Months after the fact, I was still having nightmares from the incident.

The mental affect that an armed hold up has on you and your employees involved can be everlasting.

The Workplace Health & Safety Act (2011) states that a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking, (PCBU) must ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, a safe and healthy workplace.  Thus, today there is more responsibility placed on the employer to ensure that they supply a safe and healthy workplace for all of their employees, contractors and visitors that enter the venue.

Not every situation can be prevented, but as employer you can minimise the risk to your employees and be prepared. There are a number of steps that an employer should be looking at, especially in the event of an armed hold up. These are the questions you need to ask yourself:

  • Is your Workplace Health and Safety Management Plan updated regularly?
  • Do you have an Armed Hold Up Policy and Procedure in place?
  • Have your employees undertaken armed hold up training?
  • What support is in place for your employees to deal with the situation?

These are some of the areas that you should take into consideration to minimise the risk to the health and safety of your employees. For further information about how to prepare you venue in case of an arm hold up, contact Steve Lancaster at or on 0437 838 207.


Get the latest hospitality industry news delivered direct to your inbox by signing up to the DWS

The Christmas decorations have come down, the New Year celebrations are over and Australia Day is a distant memory, it’s time to take some relaxation time… Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but with March comes the deadline for your AUSTRAC report.

When we think about renovating a venue, most of us will think of renovating in terms of the physical environment – the look and feel of your venue. But have you ever thought of renovating your team?

Work Health & Safety Regulations are not overly clear and the lack of understanding means the majority of us choose to avoid WHS until we receive a warning from the Safety Officer to ‘do things better’ next time. What if there is no next time?