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NORA Symposium 2006 Sector Workshops

NOTE: This page is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated.

 Workshop Index 

Wholesale and Retail Trade

The NORA Wholesale and Retail Trade Sector workshop was held at the NORA Symposium on April 20, 2006. No Symposium attendees chose to attend this workshop, at first. This may be an indication of the poor recognition of the range of occupational safety and health issues facing this multi-faceted sector. Two veteran OSH professionals were recruited and a lively discussion was held with the workshop leaders about sector issues.

A summary of information received in the NORA Docket by early April, including the Tampa Town Hall meeting on the Wholesale and Retail Trade Sector, suggests a range of issues:

  • Prevent musculoskeletal disorders –lifting, repetitive motions
  • Minimize fatigue and shift-work health problems
  • Find cost-effective safety solutions
  • Benchmark / Quantify to obtain industry comparisons
  • Prevent workplace violence
  • Prevent material handling hazards
  • Study underserved populations
  • Develop safety materials for teenagers
  • Identify hazards/exposures
  • Evaluate personal protective equipment
  • Assess indoor air quality
  • Establish safety culture

The discussion identified several “marketing” issues for this sector:

  • From the perception of the public, retail and wholesale jobs pose little or no risk of injury or death.
  • A main challenge for the Wholesale and Retail Trade Sector is to identify the high risk sub sectors, where homicides and traumatic injuries are common.
  • Improve health surveillance data are needed that provide researchers with information on which businesses and workplaces hazards are the greatest.

It is anticipated that analysis of additional comments being received in the NORA Docket and establishment of a NORA Wholesale and Retail Trade Sector Research Council will succeed in focusing much-needed attention on this sector and identifying several priority issues for future research.