Supermarket trolley technology rounds up a WHS solution

Lockelec Innovation

Monday, 09 October, 2017

Supermarket trolley technology rounds up a WHS solution

Workplace injuries could be reduced with the introduction of a Bluetooth remote-controlled trolley collector at Australian supermarket chain Coles.

The practice of collecting trolleys from car parks can be labour intensive, unproductive, as well as causing a multitude of injuries and Workcover claims.

Coles supermarkets, conscious of the ‘trolley problem’, scanned the world for technology that would make the collection of the trolleys a simpler, more ergonomic process. After an exhaustive search and numerous prototypes, Coles chose Braeside-based engineering company Lockelec Innovation to create a solution. After 12 months of developments and trials, Lockelec’s remote-controlled (Bluetooth) ‘Red Rover’ was born.

The innovation, which has been billed as the ‘sheep dog of supermarket trolleys’, recently won Coles’ Rising Star award for Supplier of the Year. The award was accepted in Melbourne by Lockelec Managing Director Stuart Lord, a third-generation owner of the Braeside company.

“We genuinely love the challenge of finding innovative solutions by thinking out of the square and were thrilled to have Coles’ support,” Lord said.

“The Red Rover is a game changer because it reduces manual handling (of trolleys), makes the workplace safer and is much more efficient.”

The Red Rover trolley collector removes the manual-handling hazards involved in trolley collection, which can also result in significant productivity improvements. A staff member provides direction of the ‘trolley train’ by simply guiding the lead trolley in the desired direction, while the Red Rover provides silent, motorised pushing power from behind.

The technology is earmarked for a national and global rollout, and is also one of the finalists in the upcoming WorkSafe Victoria awards.

Image credit: ©olly/Dollar Photo Club

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