This report is from the survey carried out on the cashiers at the Morton Williams supermarkets. The supermarkets are located in New York and are often quite busy with customers. The supermarkets are well established and have corporate leadership. The survey was carried with special reference being given to the OSHA standards. The survey was carried out after permission had been obtained from the supermarket authority.
The Cashier Work at the Supermarket. It was found out that the format of the cashier workstations for the cashiers was all similar; the chief layout remained the same. It was noted that for all the cashiers there was an intake belt on the right hand side. The belt lead luggage directly to the scanner from where the cashier is to lift the items and passed through the scanner after which they loaded to the bagging area. The cashiers lacked the outtake belts and as such had to push the goods to the loading area. It was observed that the cashiers did considerable work lifting items from the intake belt and pushing them to the bagging area.
The reports sort to measure some distances and check whether they were compliant with the OSHA set standards:
- The closest the cashier can stand to the scanner
- Farthest reach distance to the belt
- Closest distance to the belt
- Reach distance to the bagging
- Reach to the keyboard
It was found out that out of the above measurement, the closest reach to the belt and the closest distance to the scanner were found to fall within the limit of the OSHA standards. The keyboard distance was ranked number two in being compliant with the OSHA standards. It was found that the farthest reach distance to the belt was least compliant with the OSHA standards. A cashier interacts with various work surfaces on a daily basis in the course of carrying out his/her duties. The work surfaces include the scale, scanner, and the bagging area to some extent. According to Harber et al., (1993), back pain symptoms have been closely associated with the check stand heights (Herber et al, 993). It was observed that the bagging area was likely to cause a lot of stress to the cashiers. This is because of the lifting of items to the bag that the cashier is required to carry out. It has been reported that the shoulders and the elbows are most stressed (Grant et al., 1993).
It has been shown that there is a relationship between the multiple work postures and the development of such disorders such as CTDs, RSIs and discomforts which are felt at various parts of the body (AIHA, 2003, OSHA, 2002, Harber et al., 1993). It has been argued that even the modern changes which are being made to improve on the situation of the cashiers have either not been implemented or do not address the problem in hand. From trends in studies, it has been shown that cashiers are continuously exposed to workplace injuries. It is argued that the modern electronic cash registers and laser scanners are working against the cashiers and increases body fatigue.
The survey showed that there are a number of factors that result to body injury to a cashier. The chief factor which was noted was the workstation designs which can easily lead to promotion of stressful postures leading to injury. It is reported that injuries arise most from wrist extensions while reaching out for the items off the belt. Wrists extension are observed when a cashier is bagging, and working on the keyboard.
Other workplace stress a supermarket cashier is possibly exposed to. Through observations and going through past accident recording at the supermarket other minor risks which a supermarket cashier is likely to be exposed include: Harassment from customers; this is likely to occur occasionally when a cashier serve an irritated customer. Allergy; food allergy is less likely to occur since a cashier should know the food and substances which may cause allergic reactions within the body and avoid such.