Ergonomics: Risk Factor Checklist

Ergonomics for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders: Guidelines for Retail Grocery Stores

Figure 1. - Checklist for Identifying Potential Ergonomics Risk Factors by Workplace Activity

If the answer to any of the following questions is yes, the activity should be further reviewed.

Force in Lifting

• Does the lift involve pinching to hold the object?
• Is heavy lifting done with one hand?
• Are very heavy items lifted without the assistance of a mechanical device?
• Are heavy items lifted while bending over, reaching above shoulder height, or twisting?
• Are most items lifted rather than slid over the scanner?

Force in Pushing, Pulling, Carrying

• Are dollies, pallet jacks, or other carts difficult to get started?
• Is there debris (e.g., broken pallets) or uneven surfaces (e.g., cracks in the floor) or dock plates that could catch the wheels while pushing?
• Is pulling rather than pushing routinely used to move an object?
• Are heavy objects carried manually for a long distance?

Force to Use Tools

• Do tools require the use of a pinch grip or single finger to operate?
• Are tools too large or too small for the employee's hands?
• Repetitive Tasks Are multiple scans needed?
• Is a quick wrist motion used while scanning?
• Do repetitive motions last for several hours without a break (e.g., slicing deli meats, scanning groceries)?
• Does the job require repeated finger force (e.g., kneading bread, squeezing frosting, using pricing gun)?

Awkward and Static Postures

• Is the back bent or twisted while lifting or holding heavy items?
• Are objects lifted out of or put into cramped spaces?
• Do routine tasks involve leaning, bending forward, kneeling or squatting?
• Do routine tasks involve working with the wrists in a bent or twisted position?
• Are routine tasks done with the hands below the waist or above the shoulders?
• Are routine tasks done behind (e.g., pushing items to bagging) or to the sides of the body?
• Does the job require standing for most of the shift without anti-fatigue mats?
• Do employees work with their arms or hands in the same position for long periods of time without changing positions or resting?

Contact Stress

• Are there sharp or hard edges with which the worker may come into contact?
• Do employees use their hands as a hammer (e.g., closing containers)?
• Does the end of the tool/utensil (knife) handle press into the worker's palm?

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

Updated on: 12/10/09
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Ergonomics: Potential Job-Specific Concerns
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Ergonomics: Potential Job-Specific Concerns

Checklist for identifying potential job-specific ergonomics concerns.
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