Supermarket WHS

Supermarket inspection program launched by WorkSafe

Earlier in the year, WorkSafe announced that it was launching a random inspection program targeting safety standards and issues in supermarkets and grocery stores across the state.
Supermarkets throughout metro and regional areas are under scrutiny because of the high level of workplace industries associated with manual tasks.

WorkSafe Director, Joe Attard, said “Statistics show that the three most common mechanisms of injury in supermarkets and grocery stores are muscular stress from lifting, carrying or putting down objects, falls from the same level and muscular stress while pushing, pulling, reaching and so on.”

“The five occupations with the highest number of injuries are store person, shelf filler, sales assistant, checkout operator and retail supervisor,” Mr Attard added.

What’s being targeted by the supermarket inspections?

The focus of the inspections will be on manual tasks, but inspectors will also look at the safety issues involved with training, systems and procedures, forklifts and pallets, ladders, steps and trolleys, etc.

No area of the store is to be spared, with inspections covering the shelving and storage, checkout areas, loading docks, freezer and chiller rooms and areas such as the deli, bakery, butcher and fresh produce.

What’s the aim of the supermarket inspections?

The main purpose of the proactive inspection program is to raise safety awareness and to ensure that employers have all the information they require to keep their workplaces safe.
Inspectors will run all inspections using a standardised checklist to ensure consistency throughout the process. The program will continue throughout the remainder of the financial year.

Although the program is designed to raise awareness about the best way to lessen the risk of injury and illness, inspectors will take enforcement action, it they see breaches of the laws during their visits.

Is your business safe?

To prepare your business for the supermarket inspections, all aspects of your work health and safety are being constantly monitored and updated. The best way to do this is to have a designated employee, a safety representative, who controls the safety of all systems and procedures within your business.

You don’t have to hire an entire new employee to fill this role; you can easily train existing employees to be safety representatives, in a dual capacity with their current roles. To learn more about the different work health and safety course options click here.

For more information about the inspection program, WorkSafe have also released an OSH in supermarkets and grocery store’s guide to help business owners prepare and improve their workplace health and safety. Click here to view and download the guide.