Ergonomics: Lifting Safety
Ergonomics for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders: Guidelines for Retail Grocery Stores
Store Wide Ergonomic Solutions
This section describes storewide ergonomic principles on safe work practices employees can follow to reduce their risk of injury. Employers should train employees to use these techniques and design stores to make it easy to do so.
Most grocery store jobs involve some lifting. It is important that employers provide employees with help to lift heavy or bulky items. Whether a particular lift will require assistance depends on several factors, including the weight and size of the object, how frequently the object is lifted, how close the object is to the ground, how high it must be lifted, how far it must be carried and whether it has handles. Assistance can include a dolly or cart, or help from a co-worker. Employees should be trained in the use of appropriate lifting techniques for different sizes of objects as well as to when it is appropriate to seek assistance.
When holding, lifting or carrying items
Before lifting boxes and cases, check the weight so you can prepare to lift properly.
Turn the body as a unit to avoid twisting at the waist.
Keep the item close to your body.
Keep your back straight.
Use your leg muscles to do the lifting.
Lift smoothly without jerking.
Get close to where you want to set the item down.
Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210