Health and safety boost for retail and supply chain sector


The launch of ShopCare, the Retail and Supply Chain Health and Safety Sector Group shows the sector recognises the importance of a coordinated, collaborative approach to reducing harm, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway

I congratulate the Retail and Supply Chain Health Group on launching ShopCare, which establishes the entire sector’s commitment to health, safety and wellbeing for its workers. It is an example of an industry taking the initiative to solve complex health and safety problems.”

ShopCare has been set up with industry support and funding from the first round of the ACC Workplace Injury Prevention Grants, which support business innovation and strengthening leadership in health and safety in our high-risk sectors.

The three-year investment will help establish this group to work with all organisations involved across the sector and focus on reducing the highest levels of harm. They will use data and evidence to do this and identify injuries that could result in serious harm or death, including forklifts, movement of vehicles and pedestrians, road transport and fatigue.

The Government Health and Safety at Work Strategy, launched late last year, recognises the importance of everyone involved, business, NGOs and government, working together to improve the health and safety of workers over the next 10 years.

With everyone working together collaboratively we can bring about effective change in terms of improving the health and wellbeing of all our workers. Working in this way not only improves health and safety but also supports strong, resilient and sustainable businesses.

There are 50 to 60 deaths from work incidents each year, and exposures to chronic health risks are estimated to account for 750 to 900 deaths a year.

About ShopCare

Officially launched on October 29 2019, ShopCare is one of five initiatives to receive funding in the first round of ACC’s Workplace Injury Prevention Grant scheme.

Led by CEO and former GM logistics for Countdown NZ Liz May, ShopCare meets a critical need for dedicated health and safety leadership in New Zealand – to drive long term positive change.

Focusing initially on the food and grocery sub-sector, ShopCare will partner with major retailers, manufacturers, transporters and suppliers to improve the safety, health, and wellbeing of all employees involved in the creation, supply, delivery, and sale of the numerous items that grace our supermarket, dairy, and retail shelves.

ShopCare brings together senior leaders from a diverse group of businesses to share knowledge and problem solve. This approach fosters enhanced ownership and responsibility for organisational health and safety amongst business leaders, and models leadership behaviours to influence cultural change and save lives.

May says ShopCare will drive industry collaboration and knowledge sharing, and enable a coordinated approach to simplify and align safety processes and systems, and the reporting of workplace injuries, near-misses and hazards.

“One of the most significant challenges currently facing the retail and supply chain industry is the lack of consistency in health and safety systems.

“Organisations have their own way of doing things and as a result when we have employees and suppliers moving between companies there is not a uniform set of health and safety standards. We aim to address the challenges of overlapping responsibilities between companies and agree a common language and standards which can be applied across the industry.

“We aim to lead the adoption of initiatives that identify and address critical industry risks, creating an industry aligned charter of change to effect a different outcome for the food and grocery retail and supply chain sector.”

The food and grocery sub-sector is a springboard for positive change across the entire retail and supply chain industry. Over time, ShopCare plans to scale initiatives and apply these to other retail segments including hardware retail and general merchandise retail.

The launch event in Auckland last night included speakers from industry and government including: Nicole Rosie, Chief Executive of WorkSafe; Mike Pretty, Managing Director of Kraft Heinz; Chris Quin, CEO Foodstuffs North Island; Mike O’Brien, Independent Chair of HASANZ; and Liz May, CEO of ShopCare (the Retail and Supply Chain Health and Safety Sector Group).