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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-93-0920-2548, Kroger Grocery Warehouse, Nashville, Tennessee.

Waters T; Putz-Anderson V; 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 93-0920-2548, 1995 Dec; :1-41
In response to a confidential employee request, an investigation was begun into possible hazards of repetitive lifting and excessive work pace at the Kroger Grocery Warehouse (SIC-5411), Nashville, Tennessee. The study was to examine the prevalence and incidence of work related musculoskeletal disorders, document the presence of potential occupational hazards including ergonomic issues related to repetitive lifting, and develop recommendations to prevent or reduce the physical stresses associated with such lifting. A questionnaire was administered to the workers to assess their perception of physical workload and symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders. Ergonomic studies were conducted on three visits, and the OSHA logs were examined. The study indicated that back injury in order assemblers was the most important cause of lost workdays in the warehouse. An average of 25 recordable back injuries occurred per year from 1989 through 1992. The authors conclude that the job of order assembler at this site placed even this highly selected workforce at substantial risk of developing low back injuries. The loads lifted exceeded recognized weight limits; they exceeded recognized lifting rates; the locations were either too low, too high, or too great a horizontal distance from the spine resulting in excessive biomechanical strain; and the work periods sometimes exceeded an 8 hour day, causing energy demands to be made that exceeded recognized capacities for a majority of the workers. The authors recommend that specific measures be instituted to reduce lifting hazards.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-93-0920-2548; Region-4; Hazard-Confirmed; Physical-stress; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Manual-lifting; Manual-materials-handling; Repetitive-work; Author Keywords: Grocery Stores, Warehouse; repetitive lifting; lumbo-sacral stress; back injury; ergonomics; biomechanical; physiologic; production standards; muscle fatigue
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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