What is that makes you choose where you purchase your groceries?

Is it purely price? A catchy jingle? A celebrity endorsement?

Or is it other things such as a supermarket that behaves in an ethical manner? A retailer that respects its customers and also respects and cares for its staff.

This week if you had been a customer at Coles in Boronia, Victoria you may be rethinking your priorities.

At the back of the store between the dairy products and a endcap display of Easter eggs for children was a staff member on a ladder bashing a large air conditioning duct with a broom. The purpose of this was to dislodge black muck that was clearly clogging it up.

The offending air conditioner duct, the ladder and the black dust all over the floor

The offending air conditioner duct, the ladder and the black dust all over the floor

As this staff member bashed the duct while balancing on the ladder, black dust rained down all over himself, the floor, the dairy products, the children’s Easter eggs, and passing customers.

The area was not cordoned off, there were no signs, there was nothing covering the groceries, and shoppers walked past huge piles of black dust with bemused and stunned expressions on their faces.

The astute of you may have noticed the distinctive safety equipment that Coles had provided to protect the workers lungs, it’s called a Chux wipe. For those of you with concerns about this it is only fair to point out that Coles went to the extent of ensuring it was a Super Chux so that he could tie it on his face like a handkerchief and wouldn’t have to hold it with one hand while swinging a broom with the other whilst balanced precariously. Don’t tell me Coles don’t care.

I have sent a copy of the above video to Coles head office and asked for their opinion on the matter and as at the time of publication there has been no response.

As I left the store I approached the store manager for his explanation for what was occurring.

When I initially asked him for a comment his reply was “I shouldn’t”.

Piles of black dust on the floor for customers to walk through

Piles of black dust on the floor for customers to walk through

Although he then sought to justify the decision to carry out this filthy procedure during opening hours saying that the black dust had been blowing on customers and they were trying to make it stop, and said that it had been worked on that morning.

From an onlookers perspective loosening the black sooty dust that likely contains all sort of germs as not going to make it blow less on customers, and bashing it with a broom seemed to make it rain down on customers.

When I asked about the staff members lake of face mask and use of a Chux wipe, his response was

“Oh, he always does that”

This would appear that this is a frequently occurring event, and would also indicate a complete breakdown of Occupational Health standards in this store.

Down, down, standards are down.

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8 thoughts on “Getting Down – Things are going down at Coles

  1. Well done recording this disgrace. Did they think nobody would care? If this is their standard of hygiene and OH&S, the whole store should be shut down. Was anyone on staff a union member? I look forward to your updates.

  2. Leave a reply! do you want to get me arrested Coles are very big Liberal party donors.

  3. I worked at Coles Knox for two years as a casual. It was unbearable. They have a bully culture. The full time staff make casuals life hell, the two ladies that started with me left after two months. If you don’t ‘suck up’ they cut your hours. The woman who was my supervisor committed suicide due to work stress. I have never been able to set foot in that store since leaving.

  4. To say nothing of the possible risk of Legionnaires Disease (airconditioning problems in hospitals) hello, does that ring a bell for anyone in Occupational Health and Safety…would it perhaps take a customer to sue the organisation for being exposed to the dust particles and running the risk of a fatal disease? My O my.

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