S.A. Area Manager
Quix Foodstores 22 May 1998
I feel that a number of issues under the Occupational Health,
Safety and Welfare act affecting employees in this store have not been
adequately addressed. In order to avoid any further delays or
misunderstandings, where appropriate I have included references to the
more important sections of the Act and Regulations. In particular,
division 1.2 (responsibilities under the regulations), 1.3 (implementation
of the regulations) and Part 3 of the Act (duties of employers).
* FLOORMAT. During certain shifts, due to the amount of customers, it
quite often becomes necessary to stand behind register one for
hours at a time. A soft mat should be provided for staff to stand
on. (Regulations. Division 2.3.2(4))
* CHAIR. The chair provided is not only required for mealbreaks or
illness, but is required by the employee when it is appropriate to
be seated while at work. The seat needs to be high enough to enable
employees to sit while operating the register or while carrying
out any work at the counter and in particular, enable employees to
see over the counter while seated. Providing a low office chair to
be kept in one corner of the work area does not meet these
requirements. (Regulations. Division 2.2.9(3) & 2.2.9(4)
* DOOR. The main entrance doors have been damaged for quite a long
time and it has only been possible to lock the top part of the
doors to the door frame. For the past several weeks it has not
been possible to lock them at all as they cannot be locked to the
top door frame any more. This means that in the event of an
emergency/holdup/suspicious customer(s) etc it is not possible to
secure the building or provide a safe haven for staff.
* WORKING ALONE, OUTSIDE AT NIGHT. Currently the nightshift
employees are required to work in an isolated area, alone, at
night, with no security or protection and with no means of
obtaining assistance should they become injured, incapacitated
or are confronted by aggressive persons.
A report of an inspection of this store's security, carried out by
Senior Constable Adrian Jones of the Police Security Advice Unit was
forwarded to this store on the 14th November 1997 and was seen by me, the
Assistant Manager and other employees. However, as you recently advised me
that neither this store's manager, you, nor the Regional Manager were aware
of this report, I obtained a duplicate copy from the Police Security Advice
unit and forwarded it to Adam Rytenskild on the 30th March (a copy is
enclosed). Senior Constable Jones considered the matter of the end of the
counter not being blocked off to customers and the lack of a hold-up
alarm, to be most important and suggested they should be addressed
immediately. However, as this report was brought about as a result of an
armed robbery at this store, it would be appropriate to consider all of his
recommendations to be important.
His recommendations are:
1 .. Southern end of counter should be blocked off from customers
by means of a counter top and swing door.
2 .. Mirror to enable staff to view "blind area" near toilets.
3 .. Hold up alarm with buttons in appropriate positions.
The matter of the chair and floormat are required under specific
regulations (Division 2.2.9(3) & 2.2.9(4) and Division 2.3.2(4)). The
other matters relate to an employer providing a safe working environment
and recognising and minimising known risks.
During the last past years that I have been employed by this
company there has not been any consultation with staff concerning any
health or safety issues. I was elected by this store's employees as the
Health & Safety Representative for the sole purpose of rectifying this
problem. Unfortunately there appears to be a considerable amount of ill
feeling and antagonism generated because of my election and subsequent
requests. What I have asked for is in accordance with the Occupational
Health, Safety and Welfare Act 1986, the Occupational Health, Safety and
Welfare Regulations 1995, this company's own Environment, Health and
Safety Policy and this company's own Equal Opportunity Practices Policy
of December 1996.
The results so far are clearly not satisfactory, however I do
believe that communication and commonsense is preferable to issuing
default notices, involving Inspectors or ultimately the Industrial Court.
I would prefer that the above issues be settled amicably rather than
with antagonism and legal recourse.
For the previous two to three months since becoming the Health and
Safety Representative and in my attempts to ensure that this store's
working environment is as safe and as comfortable as possible, my health
has deteriorated to the extent that I now suffer from insomnia, very high
blood pressure and chest, arm and stomach pains. Electrocardiograms and
blood tests have ruled out any physical cause, indicating work related
stress and anxiety. To this extent I have been forced to reduce the number
of shifts I work, resulting in an improvement in my health. I do not wish
to leave this employ, and I believe that if the safety and welfare issues
indicated are instigated by this company, it will not only provide a safer
and much less stressfull working environment but will also demonstrate the
concern this company has for it's employees.
With the recent closure at night of two nearby petrol stations,
this store is now the only retail outlet open during the night within a
radius of several kilometres. This greatly increases the risk to night
staff and therefore the safety measures listed should be considered of the
Please advise what action is being/will be taken concerning the
issues I have raised.
O.H.S & W Representative
Quix Noarlunga Workgroup
Store 306. Noarlunga