Ergonomics: Produce Department
Ergonomics for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders: Guidelines for Retail Grocery Stores
Ergonomic principles apply in the produce department.
Keep manual food processing equipment (knives, slicers, etc.) sharp and in good repair. Equipment that is dull or is not working properly may require excess force to operate.
Use a lightweight shorthandled plastic shovel for ice. This tool is less stressful to the body than heavy shovels. A small shovel allows the worker to move more ice in less time than a hand scoop.
Use a portable ice case to transfer ice from the ice machine to the produce displays.
Position scales and wrap stations so that they can be used in the best work zone. Scales that are too high or too low for a worker can cause employees to work in awkward positions. If possible, make the scale and wrap station tables adjustable so that all workers can work in comfortable postures.
Keep boxes, melons, bags of potatoes, or other heavy items close to the body when lifting and carrying. This helps to reduce stress on the back.
Keep heavy items, such as watermelons, in shipping containers and use pallet jacks to move them.
Consider using refrigeration rather than ice to cool produce in order to eliminate the need to shovel ice.
Place heavier or fast-moving items on shelves that are in the best work zone.
Use carts to move heavy items; position carts alongside displays to minimize reaching and carrying.
Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)
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