Musculoskeletal disorders among grocery warehouse workers.
Baron S; Putz-Anderson V; Waters T; Hanley K
Sixth US-Finnish Joint Symposium on Occupational Health and Safety, People and Work, Proceedings of the Sixth FIOH-NIOSH Joint Symposium on Occupational Health and Safety, 8-10 August 1995, Espoo, Finland. People and Work - Research Reports 3. H. Nordman, J. Starck, A. Tossavainen, E. Viikari-Juntura, eds. Helsinki, Finland: Finnish Institute of Occupational Health; 1995 Aug; 146-150
The results of a NIOSH evaluation of musculoskeletal problems among grocery warehouse workers was summarized. The evaluation was conducted to document the incidence of musculoskeletal disorders and to measure physical stressors and the physiological workload associated with the job of an order selector at a grocery warehouse. The job involved lifting cases of grocery items from supply pallets and loading them on automated pallet jacks. Workers compensation records and OSHA 200 logs were used to estimate rates of back injuries among the selectors. Forty eight male selectors, average age 29 years, completed a questionnaire to rate perceived physical workloads, body discomfort, and work stress. The questionnaire responses were compared with those of 2,00 male public employees. Physical stresses of the selectors were measured using five representative lifting tasks. Oxygen consumption and heart rates were monitored on three selectors as they completed an average grocery order to estimate metabolic costs. The general rate of back injuries sustained by the selectors for the period 1987 through 1991 determined from OSHA 200 logs and compensation records was 31 and 16%, respectively. High levels of body discomfort were reported from the back, neck and shoulder, and extremities. The selectors rated the workload as very physically demanding and job stress as fairly often demanding. Job stress rated by the public employees was described as occasionally fairly demanding. The results obtained by the selectors on the lifting tasks exceeded lifting weights recommended by NIOSH. The metabolic cost estimates indicated that the selectors' job tasks were very demanding. The authors conclude that selectors are at elevated risk for low back pain and other musculoskeletal problems because of a combination of adverse biomechanical and physiological job factors. Recommendations include redesigning the job tasks utilizing ergonomic principles and developing a suitable system for monitoring injuries and illnesses of the selectors.
Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Risk-analysis; Biomechanics; Warehousing; Work-analysis; Manual-lifting; Physical-stress; Back-injuries; Injury-prevention
Nordman H; Starck J; Tossavainen A; Viikari-Juntura E
Sixth US-Finnish Joint Symposium on Occupational Health and Safety, People and Work, Proceedings of the Sixth FIOH-NIOSH Joint Symposium on Occupational Health and Safety, 8-10 August 1995, Espoo, Finland. People and Work - Research Reports 3