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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-92-294-2301, Schnuck's, National and Dierberg's Supermarkets, St. Louis, Missouri.

Grant KA; Habes DJ; Baron S
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 92-294-2301, 1993 Apr; :1-23
In response to a request from Local 655 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, an investigation was made into biomechanical hazards at the checker unload workstations in supermarkets (SIC-5411) in St. Louis, Missouri. An ergonomic evaluation was undertaken at three supermarket chains (Dierberg's, Schnuck's and National). Videotaping and photography were performed of cashier work activities at each of these locations. The dimensions of the checkout stand and the grocery carts were also determined. All three chains required the cashier to unload the customer's cart for scanning. Two chains used shallow carts designed for cashier unload operations, while one used conventional carts. An analysis was undertaken of cashier postures and movements during grocery scanning activities. Data were compared to similar information obtained from workers where grocery items were unloaded by the customer and placed on conveyors. The use of checker unload workstations increased the normal degree of stress on the cashier, which may exacerbate the risk of musculoskeletal disorders associated with this job. The frequency of long reaches was increased, as were awkward shoulder postures and lifts. The authors conclude that a health hazard existed at these supermarkets from excess biomechanical stress due to the use of checker unload checkstands. The authors recommend that such checker unload stations be replaced by customer unload stations.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-92-294-2301; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-7; Ergonomics; Biomechanics; Human-factors-engineering; Grocery-stores; Physical-stress; Retail-workers; Author Keywords: Grocery stores; ergonomics; carpal tunnel syndrome; musculoskeletal disorders; cashiers; supermarket checkstand
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Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division