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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-91-405-2340, Big Bear Grocery Warehouse, Columbus, Ohio.

Putz-Anderson V; Waters T; Baron S; Hanley K
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 91-405-2340, 1993 Aug; :1-51
In response to a confidential request from an employee, NIOSH studied the possible hazards associated with repetitive lifting, excessive work pace and heat stress in order selectors at the Big Bear Grocery Warehouse (SIC-5411) located in Columbus, Ohio. Big Bear was a retail grocery food supplier with warehouses in Columbus. Warehouse 1 was the subject of the investigation. This location contained all of the nonperishable grocery items. This warehouse reported a higher rate of injuries. Back injuries were the most important cause of lost workdays among the employees at this site, about 16 cases were reported per 100 workers. During the 5 year period for which data was reviewed, back injuries accounted for almost 60% of the time lost from work. More than 70% of the full time selectors reported significant physical discomfort in the region of the low back and 18% reported having a back injury during the previous year. The analysis indicated that loads being lifted were too heavy, lifting rates were excessive, and stock locations were located either too low, too high or too far away from the body. Order selectors were exposed to environmental heat conditions which, combined with metabolic demands, approached heat stress criteria. The authors conclude that the job of order selector posed a risk for development of musculoskeletal disorders, particularly low back injury. The authors recommend changing the work organization and methods to reduced the hazard.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-91-405-2340; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-5; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Physical-stress; Job-stress; Manual-materials-handling; Back-injuries; Ergonomics; Author Keywords: Grocery Stores, Warehouse; repetitive lifting; lumbo-sacral stress; back injury; biomechanical; physiologic; production standards; muscle fatigue; heat stress; wet bulb globe temperature index; metabolic heat load; convective heat exchange
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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: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division