This is a report of a survey carried out on Morton Williams supermarkets located in New York. The report exclusively reports on the workplace hazards that the cashiers are exposed. The survey was specifically carried out to examine the biomechanical features which are used by the cashiers. This report makes a direct comparison of the findings against those of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards in reference to the cashiers. The report showed that the supermarket does not effectively meet the standards set by OSHA. The report also identifies customer harassment and exposure to allergic substances as other possible workplace hazards which a cashier in the supermarket may be exposed to.
The survey that was carried out brings into light the problems that cashiers face in the supermarket industry. The survey shows that cashiers are still exposed to work place dangers. The reports also bring into light some more hazards that the cashiers working in the supermarkets are exposed to. The report in a fresh brings into light the plight of cashiers in supermarkets.
Workplace hazard are of diverse types and depend on the type of job carried out and the workplace setting. This implies that different workers depending on where they work will be exposed to different hazards. Cashiers in supermarkets are equally exposed to a number of workplace hazards which have been shown have long lasting effects on the cashiers. Some of the possible dangers that cashiers are exposed to are: repetitive stress injuries, cumulative trauma disorders, and musculosketal disorders. All these result from bad and unsafe working conditions. According to OSHA (2002), workplace injuries have proved to be very costly, costly the economy over hundred billion dollars on a yearly basis. It is further reported that the costs which are related to ergonomics are about forty five to fifty billion dollars (UFCW, 2002; OSHA 2002).
Furthermore it has been shown the biggest percentage related to workplace safety issues are issues touching on workplace injuries. According to the US department of Labor (2000), supermarkets employed almost 3.2 million cashiers (US Dept. of Labor, 2000). Sluchak (1991) argues that a typical cashier working on a normal day ends up handling up an estimated average of 750 items just in one hour. Further arguments show that this is similar to filling more than 80 bags. AIHA (2003) argues that this is done with a wrist extension of about 600 times per hour (AIHA 2003). It is further claimed that a cashier will lift on average over 2722 kg of groceries. Harber et al., (1992) claims that for fast cashier, the probability of handling new item every one to two seconds in very high with an average rate of repeating of 1442 moves per hour. According to Orgel et al., (1992) this rate is likely to lead one to fall into the class of developing CTDs (Orgel et al., 1992). It is reported that the cashiers spend about 50 percent of their time interacting with the products and scanners. This is considered as repetitive manual material handling (Lehman et al., 2001; Harber et al., 1993). It is shown that the risks which are associated with the CTS are exposure to continual exposure to twisting of the wrists at work (Tanaka et al., 1995).
Studies have shown that if employees are trained on workplace safety measures, then workplace injuries are likely to be reduced to a great extent. Despite all these trainings, it is argued that supermarkets remain exposed greater risks of workplace injuries. This has been argued to be due to the workstation in which the cashiers work in being incorrect biomechanically. Blame has also been attributed to the ignorance of the workers on the workplace safety issues. This report examines the risks that supermarket cashiers are exposed to and measures to what extent their working conditions measure up to the OSHA standards with reference to the safety measures at the work place.