Is Bartending Dangerous? (Insightful Guide)

is bartending dangerous
Joe | Last Updated: May 24, 2023
I'm Joe, a veteran bartender with over a decade in the industry and a burning passion for mixing drinks.

Whether you’re considering bartending as your next career or have recently accepted a role in the industry, there are lots of questions that you may be curious to learn the answers to, and for good reason.

Starting a job in a new industry can be daunting at the best of times and going in blind without much prior knowledge can leave you feeling overwhelmed or anxious.

That’s why we created this blog, to help new and aspiring bartenders feel more comfortable when joining the bartending industry and to educate them on what the bartending world is all about.

Today, we’re going to answer a question that many aspiring bartenders are eager to learn the answer to. “Is bartending dangerous?

No, for the most part bartending is NOT dangerous. Employers have responsibilities for the health and safety of their employees, but there are certainly some dangers and variables to consider which could lead to dangerous circumstances whilst bartending.

Let’s take a closer look…

Is Working In A Bar Dangerous?

Working as a bartender in most bars is not particularly dangerous, however, there are certainly bars in some areas of the world that are MUCH more dangerous than others.

The geographic location of the bar will play a large role in how dangerous it is. For example, a bar in Tijuana or Detroit, Michigan will be more dangerous than working at a bar in Dubai, UAE.

Local crime rates, poverty conditions, economic conditions, and job availability can all have an impact on how dangerous it will be to work at a bar in that area.

is bartending dangerous
Photo by Andrey Grodz on Unsplash

That said, even in the most dangerous cities in the world, working as a bartender is still a relatively safe job so don’t let that put you off.

So long as the bar has good management that enforces laws and regulations there is no need to be worried about the dangers of being a bartender in most establishments.

>> Read more: Are bars dangerous?

What Are The Dangers Of Bartending?

No matter which establishment you decide to bartend in, it’s important to be aware of some of the dangers that come alongside bartending in general.

The role itself can be more physical than some people expect which often catches newcomers off guard, so let’s look at some of the dangers involved in bartending.

Bar Brawls

Whilst bar brawls are typically most common in the movies, fights, arguments, and altercations do happen regularly in lots of bars around the world.

Alcohol interferes with the brain and reduces our ability to think clearly and rationally which often leads to some people becoming very angry and fights breaking out.

Bartenders can get caught in the crossfire at times, but most establishments have trained security that handles these matters or call the police.

This danger also ties into the area of the bar you’re working in, as the more dangerous the city in general the more likely to encounter fights and altercations, so keep this in mind.

Health Concerns

Cuts, burns, scrapes, and bruises are all part of normal life for a bartender. Some drinks require infused syrups or open flames which puts bartenders at risk of boiling sugar spills, hot water, and the potential ignition of alcohol.

Whilst these are rare, I’ve seen some pretty bad burns during my time as a bartender.

Another common health concern bartenders face is tendonitis. This has been linked to cocktail shakers as these tasks are repetitive and strenuous.

bartending dangers
Photo by Jia Jia Shum on Unsplash

A bartender’s hands and wrists are their most important tools and the continuous shaking of cocktails, lifting of kegs, and cleaning duties can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis in the wrists.

By now you’ll be aware that bartenders work late until the early hours of the morning and almost every single weekend.

This can lead to an unhealthy lifestyle of poor diet, lack of sleep and stress if unmanaged properly.

It’s wise to be hyper-aware of your health whilst working as a bartender as it can quickly get away from you due to the lifestyle and unsociable hours.


Other hazards that are important to be aware of are back problems, shoulder injuries, head injuries, slips, falls, and cuts/wounds.

A bar can quickly become full of hazards especially when busy. Drinks can be spilled and punters may not warn staff of this which can lead to bartenders or staff slipping and injuring themselves.

One important hazard for bartenders to keep an eye out for is customers that have had a little too much to drink and start to put themselves and others in danger.

Standing on tables, dancing on the bar, or simply being too drunk for their own good can come with a lot of problems, for themselves and the bar staff.

If you notice a customer that’s too drunk it’s important not to serve them any more alcohol.

Should I Be Concerned With Safety Whilst Bartending?

This can all sound quite intimidating when you’re new to the bartending industry, but it quickly becomes the norm, and once you adjust and know what to look out for becomes much less dangerous.

There is really no need to be concerned with safety whilst bartending. The bar owner and management are responsible for this concern and have put measures in place to protect their staff and keep them safe at work.

If your considering a role in bartending, ensure you ask the hiring manager what safety precautions they have put in place to keep staff safe and express your hesitations with them for more clarity.

Most bars will be happy to provide you with the measures they have put in place and if they are not, then it’s not a place you would want to work anyway.

Variables To Consider

It would be unjust of me not to mention some other variables that are VERY important to keep in mind before you take on a bartending role.

Whilst most bars are safe places to work, not all bartenders have the same safety concerns as each other.

For example, a 40-year-old strong male will be much less concerned about bar brawls than a young woman.

In my experience, young and attractive females are at more risk than anyone when working as a bartender.

There are a lot of creeps that like to hang out in bars looking for young and attractive women to stalk and potentially cause harm to, so it’s important that you keep this front of mind.

is bartending dangerous
Image by Victoria Model from Pixabay

If you are a young female that is working or considering a bartending role, you should take extra precautions and be hyper-aware of your surroundings at all times.

Do not walk home after your shift alone and park your car as close to the bar as possible. Your bar manager will not mind walking you to your car if it makes you feel more comfortable.

Final Thoughts

I hope that this article has answered your question of “is bartending dangerous” and you now have a better understanding of some of the hazards that are involved in the role.

For the most part, bartending is not particularly dangerous and there is no need to worry about safety concerns.

Employers are responsible for the health and safety of their staff and put measures in place so that safety is a priority, but it’s also crucial that you take responsibility for your own safety whilst working as a bartender.

Busy bars that are packed full of drunk customers can be dangerous, especially for young, attractive women that are working behind the bar.

Harassment, being stalked and worse can all happen in bar environments. I wish I didn’t have to stress this as much but in today’s times, I really do.

Stay safe out there and enjoy your new bartending role!