Working in a grocery store can be quite demanding. The repetitive movements and heavy lifting can threaten an employee’s health and make them prone to injury. It comes as no surprise then that grocery stores rank high on the list of repeated trauma cases, with strains and sprains accounting for 45 percent of total injuries or illnesses.
Improper lifting technique can be particularly harmful and lead to OSHA’s number one workplace safety problem: back injuries. Back injuries are a real pain, affecting more than one million employees annually and costing companies billions of dollars in lost production.
In addition to having a proper workers compensation plan in place, teach employees these lifting safety tips to make a big difference in preventing back injuries.
- Keep in good physical condition and stretch and loosen up before work
- Make sure the travel path is clear and remove obstacles if necessary
- Consider dividing the cargo into several loads to spread the weight over multiple trips
- Work with a lifting partner or moving device—such as a cart—if possible
How to lift
- Get as close to the load as possible. The further the load is from the center of the body, the greater the strain on the back
- If the object is above shoulder height, use a ladder
- Employ a power grip using your whole hand and fingers in order to distribute the force over a larger area
- With tightened stomach muscles and a straight back, lift from the legs in one smooth motion
- Pivot instead of using twisting movements
- Break up strenuous tasks with easier ones to avoid overexertion
Imparting these small details onto your employees can keep them safe and healthy for work. For more workers ergonomics tips, check out our risk control library or contact one of our risk control reps.