Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
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Health and Safety: Teaching Tools

Preventing Injuries

This example relates a real-life situation regarding ergonomics that learners will recognize. They will realize that they are very much aware of methods of preventing ergonomic related injuries through their own life experiences.

Have you worked as a cashier or observed a cashier in a supermarket? A well-thought out workstation will reduce the potential for injuries.

Class Question - What are some of the tasks and hazards a checkout worker may face?

Possible Hazards

  • Lifting / Twisting while lifting
  • Difficult customers
  • Fast pace of work
  • Keyboarding
  • Standing for long periods of time

Preventing Injuries

While displaying the slide ask the class the following question:

Considering the workstation shown here, what steps have you observed in your local store that have been taken to minimize the ergonomic impact?

Possible Solutions

  • Dual scanners (on side and counter) to help reduce twisting
  • Bar codes for large or awkward objects can be put on a card. The cashier would only need to scan the card instead of reaching/bending (twisting/lifting) to scan the bar code on the object (e.g. cases of pop)
  • Anti-fatigue mats on the floor
  • Footrest so a change in standing posture is possible, or a chair
  • Rest breaks or rotation to a different job in the store (one that uses different muscle groups)
  • Pieces of equipment, such as scales for weighing produce, are within a reasonable reaching distance
  • Holders for the plastic bags to keep them open while goods are put inside