NSCA Foundation

Woolworths pledges $1.6m to improve workplace traffic controls

Monday, 19 August, 2019

Woolworths pledges $1.6m to improve workplace traffic controls

Woolworths has committed $1.6 million to the enhancement of its Northern Territory (NT) stores’ back docks’ infrastructure and traffic management controls. It comes as part of an enforceable undertaking, accepted by NT WorkSafe after the 2016 death of a Maningrida man who was run over by a prime mover in the Hibiscus Shopping Centre loading dock. WorkSafe NT said Woolworths submitted the enforceable undertaking after being charged with one breach of Section 32 of the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011 for failing to comply with a health and safety duty.

The undertaking included a $57,000 pledge for research and development into using digital technology for continuous controlled monitoring of loading docks, the development of a Retail Dock Safety Guide and the delivery of free industry presentations on traffic management risks. The community also benefits from the purchase of 17 defibrillators to be distributed by St John Ambulance for community use and a donation of funds to support Lifeline operations in the NT.

The regulatory body agreed to the enforceable undertaking, believing it “offer[ed] a similar deterrent to a successful legal proceeding” and would result in “tangible improvement[s]” to workplace, community and industry safety. Woolworths has already spent $500,000 securing the Hibiscus Shopping Centre loading dock and other NT Woolworths loading docks that were considered high risk.

“Being struck by a vehicle or other mobile plant like forklifts is a major hazard in workplaces across the country,” NT WorkSafe Acting Executive Director Melissa Garde said. “Shopping centres have a high level of vehicle and pedestrian traffic, and the Hibiscus Shopping Centre loading dock was routinely used as a short cut.

“All retailers should look at their traffic management arrangements to ensure a similar incident doesn’t occur at their workplace.”

Image credit: © stock.adobe.com/au/industrieblick

NSCA Foundation is a member based, non-profit organisation working together with members to improve workplace health and safety throughout Australia. For more information and membership details click here
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