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Ergonomic assessments of supermarket cashiers.

Orgel D; Milliron M; Fredrick L; Baron S; Habes D
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 1991 Jan; 6(1):14-16
The results of two ergonomic assessments of supermarket cashiers were summarized. The first consisted of ergonomic analyses of the checkout work stations in a supermarket in response to a request to evaluate musculoskeletal injuries, particularly those of the upper neck and shoulder, in the employees. The study consisted of ergonomic analyses of the checkouts and questionnaire surveys of the cashiers' symptoms. Reaching to the far corner of the checkout stands caused excess trunk flexion and improperly situated keyboards could cause excessive static stress and shoulder flexion. The checkout stands were redesigned by placing a physical barrier at the far corners to prevent overreaching and installing adjustable keyboards. The cashiers were required to view a videotape of proper checkout work practices. A followup survey 4 months later revealed that the number of symptoms originating from the neck, back, shoulder, low back, or leg was sharply reduced. The second study was a survey of the prevalence of upper extremity cumulative trauma disorders in a supermarket chain. Checker work practices and the checkout stand design were found to be contributing to postural stresses. Recommendations included locating the scale, scanner, and keyboard in front of the cashier, placing a bag stand to the right of the cashier, providing an adjustable sit/stand bar in the checkstand area to allow the cashier to rest whenever possible during the job cycle, and eliminating certain cashier practices.
NIOSH-Author; Epidemiology; Grocery-stores; Ergonomics; Work-practices; Work-analysis; Cumulative-trauma-disorders; Occupational-health; Physiological-stress; Retail-workers
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Journal Article
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Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Page last reviewed: September 11, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division