Shelf-stackers and checkout workers will wear body cameras to protect them from being assaulted and abused in a trial being rolled out at selected Woolworths stores across the country.
The supermarket giant has turned to the drastic measure following a doubling in assaults in stores in 2020.
“Nobody deserves to be abused at work, so it’s important we look at new measures to help keep our team members safe,” Woolworths Director of Stores, Rob Moffat, said in a statement on Saturday.
Australians are more familiar with body cameras being worn by police but they are used in retail across the United States and the United Kingdom, where Woolworths says they’ve effectively reduced the rate of incidents.
The company says the cameras will only be turned on as a last resort, if a supervisor is concerned about a threat to team safety.
Audio won’t be recorded and any recordings will be stored securely on Australian servers. A small team of Woolies security experts and law enforcement agencies where appropriate will be the only ones to have access to the footage, the company says.
Customers will be alerted to the cameras with signage in the stores.
The cameras are being trialled at 11 stores: Abbotsford, Millers Junction, St Albans, Sunshine Market Place and Hoppers Crossing in Victoria, Kempsey, Berala and Rosehill in NSW, Coolbellup in Western Australia, Rundle Mall in Adelaide, and Redbank Plains in Queensland.