Friday, 14 August 2020: Reaffirming the company’s commitment to health and safety during COVID-19, Woolworths Group has appointed Dr Rob McCartney to the newly created position of Chief Medical Officer.

The appointment is a first for an Australian retailer and has been created to provide Woolworths Group with expert medical advice to help shape policies that will ensure the ongoing safety of teams and customers as the nation continues to live with COVID-19.

Dr McCartney joins Woolworths Group with more than 20 year experience in occupational medicine.

Woolworths Group Safety, Health & Wellbeing General Manager, Brian Long said: “At Woolworths the safety of our teams and customers is our highest priority.

“Dr Rob McCartney is a highly credentialed specialist occupational physician. We’re delighted to have his experience on the Woolworths team to help build on our existing COVIDsafe protocols.

“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.”

The Woolworths Group Chief Medical Officer position will be a highly specialised and technical leadership role within the Woolworths Group, providing direct input into the Woolworths Board and its relevant sub-committees as well as the Group Executive Committee. 

Other responsibilities for the role include engagement with regulatory authorities and state and federal health departments, and the development of ongoing educational materials for team members.

Dr Rob McCartney said: “I’m very excited to be joining this great Australian company. With my experience as a physician working at the interface of health and work, I look forward to assisting Woolworths in maximising the health, wellbeing and safety of its team members and customers.

“Given the scale of current public health challenges, I’ll be looking to hit the ground running. Together with the safety and leadership teams, I’ll be focused on implementing best practice COVID-19 risk management across the business as we navigate the pandemic.” 

The appointment of a Chief Medical Officer builds on to a number of health, safety and wellbeing programs implemented at Woolworths. Last year Woolworths Group also became the first organisation in the world to launch a new global mental wellness initiative called IamHere to its team members in 3,500 locations across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. 

Brian Long added: “As Australia’s largest private employer serving millions of customers each week, it has never been more important to have informed medical based input into our decisions around occupational health and hygiene and public health.

“Dr McCartney’s appointment will ensure we keep at the forefront of occupational health, hygiene and public health policy as it relates to COVID-19, while upholding the highest possible health and hygiene standards across our supermarkets, distribution centres, and support offices.”

Dr Rob