An independent report raising concerns about pick rates at an Asda depot could have far-reaching implications for the grocery distribution industry.

Last year, an independent ergonomics expert accessed Asda's Wigan depot to assess pick rates after the GMB union said it feared new voice picking technology was exposing workers to unsafe work rates.

It said too much strain was being placed on staff because Asda did not take the weight of items into account when setting increased picking targets after introducing the new system.

A draft report by the expert is being studied by union health and safety experts before being handed over to Asda. "This report confirms there is an issue," GMB regional organiser Eddie Gaudie told The Grocer. "It's not just Asda that uses this technology so the report will have implications for the whole industry. " The report would take months to digest because of this, he added.