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Woolworths praised for latest move in COVID fight

Woolworths praised for latest move in COVID fight

Woolworths will announce its first chief medical officer today in a bid to protect staff and customers from coronavirus - with his first task focused on the issue of masks.

The decision comes after the supermarket “strongly encouraged” its customers to cover their faces while shopping in NSW, ACT and parts of Queensland this month.

Coles and Kmart have also followed suit and made the same recommendation to residents of NSW.

But now Woolworths is taking it a step further, announcing on Friday that Dr Rob McCartney will take on the role of its first ever Chief Medical Officer.

He will directly communicate with Woolworths board executives and create policies around the ongoing safety of Woolies shoppers and employees as the country continues to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.

His first task is to educate staff on the importance of covering your face, and the proper way to do so.

Other responsibilities include speaking with regulatory authorities, state and federal health departments, and educating staff.

“There is a plethora of medical information and advice to consider in the planning and implementation of a COVID-safe workplace. This appointment ensures we have an internal expert, with a grounding in medical advice, to help make well-informed, long-term decisions on the safety and wellbeing of our teams and customers,“ Brian Long, general manager of group safety, health and wellbeing at Woolworths said.

According to Dr McCartney’s LinkedIn profile, he is a physician who has specialised in occupational and environmental medicine for over two decades.

He is also the founder of Resile, an occupational health service and consulting business that helps protect workers against the coronavirus.

“My ambition is to assist these in maximising the health, wellbeing, safety and productivity of their workforce,” he said.

“I have extensive experience in the prevention and management of occupational injury and illness, as well as helping people return to the workforce after experiencing health problems.”