New NIOSH Booklet Aids Retailers on Ergonomics

Ergonomic Solutions for Retailers highlights how workers in grocery stores can reduce strains and sprains when moving materials from the delivery truck to the sales floor.

NIOSH has released a new publication titled "Ergonomic Solutions for Retailers" to help workers in grocery stores and other retail establishments avoid strains and sprains while moving material from the delivery truck to the sales floor. The booklet uses illustrations to show how and where employees in a retail setting could use mechanical assist devices to lift, push, or pull heavy materials.

"Data has shown us that not only do musculoskeletal injuries result in time away from work across all industry sectors, but data shows that they affect workers in the wholesale and retail trade at a higher rate. This new resource is an invaluable tool for workers in this industry to help decrease injuries and increase productivity," said NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard.

The agency reports Bureau of Labor Statistics data show musculoskeletal injuries account for approximately 30 percent of occupational injuries that result in time away from work, and laborers and freight, stock, and material movers experience the highest number of overexertion injuries. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, Nov. 21, 2014, at http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/osh2.pdf.) Their injuries often involve strains and sprains to the lower back, shoulders, and upper limbs.

The new publication was inspired by a NIOSH/CalOSHA booklet, "Ergonomic Guidelines for Manual Material Handling."

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