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Woolworths commits to $1.8M loading dock safety upgrades

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NT WorkSafe has accepted an enforceable undertaking proposed by supermarket company, Woolworths, following a Work Health & Safety (WHS) breach in 2016.

Melissa Garde, NT WorkSafe Acting Executive Director, said the main undertaking worth $1.6 million was committed to upgrading the infrastructure of back docks at all Woolworths stores across the Territory to enhance traffic management controls above what is required by law.

This figure is in addition to the $500,000 already spent by Woolworths to secure the Hibiscus Shopping Centre loading dock and other Woolworths loading docks in the Territory 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,” said Garde.

“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,” she said.

The enforceable undertaking will benefit the wider retail industry with more than $50,000 committed for research and development into using digital technology for continuous controlled monitoring of loading docks, the development of a Retail Dock Safety Guide, and through the delivery of free industry presentations on traffic management risks.

The community will also benefit with 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 Northern Territory.

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