Ergonomics: Hands and Forearms

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.

Power Grips
A power grip uses the muscles of the hand and forearm effectively, and is less stressful than a pinch grasp. Consequently, a one- or two-handed power grip should be used whenever possible.

hand grip

hand grip

A power grip can be described as wrapping all the fingers and the thumb around the object that is being gripped. It is sometimes described as making a fist around the object being gripped.

The power grip can be used for many items, including bags, cans and small boxes.

Power Lifts
When the item to be grasped is too heavy or bulky to lift with a one-hand power grip, use the two-hand power grip.

power lift

Power Grasps
A pinch grasp should never be used when a power grip can be used instead. However, a pinch grasp is acceptable for small, light items (e.g., a pack of gum, etc.).

hand grasp

Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210

Updated on: 09/07/12
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Ergonomics: Lifting Safety
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Ergonomics: Lifting Safety

Most grocery store jobs involve some lifting. It is important that employers provide workers with help to lift safely.
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