Woolworths makes dock pledge
Woolworths has committed to a $1.8 million effort to prevent pedestrian incidents.
NT WorkSafe has accepted the enforceable undertaking proposed by Woolworths Ltd after the 2016 death of a Maningrida man, who was run over by a prime mover in the Hibiscus Shopping Centre loading dock.
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.
Acting Executive Director NT WorkSafe, Melissa Garde 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,” Ms 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,” Ms Garde said.
“All retailers should look at their traffic management arrangements to ensure a similar incident doesn’t occur at their workplace.”
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.
Woolworths will also buy 17 defibrillators to be distributed by St John Ambulance for community use and donate funds to support Lifeline operations in the Northern Territory.