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Retail ergonomics is where comfort meets productivity. This course tells us the how-tos of applying ergonomic principles in creating a comfortable working space for employees and helping them provide the best costumer service possible.
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Ergonomic Principles and their Benefits
During the Industrial Revolution, many workers were exposed to many risks and dangers, such as cramped work spaces, poor ventilation and traumatic injuries to name a few.
It is then that people started to recognize the importance of creating a safe working space and employing safe work practices.
This gave birth to a concept called "ergonomics."
Stores that have applied ergonomic solutions to their work environment have seen a dramatic drop in the number of reported work-related injuries.
This resulted in high employee morale, reducing employee turnover rate.
Retail workers who used ergonomic practices reduced unneeded motions and avoided overexertion at work, making them all the more efficient and productive.
Musculoskeletal disorders or MSDs are injuries or pain that affect the muscles, nerves, blood vessels, ligaments, and tendons.
These disorders are increasingly common among retail workers in America.
Not only do they cause a lot of **pain **and **suffering **among workers but also result in ** high financial costs ** for both the employees and the management.
Which five body parts are greatly affected by MSDs?
The body's position as well as the amount of work it has to exert may cause pain and damage to the joints, tissues and muscles.
Prolonged static or awkward posture as well as repetition increase the chance of a worker developing MSDs.
The first step is to always check the weight of the object before lifting. This will help you identify how much power and grip you need to apply.
Make sure the item is close to your body and keep your back straight.
Use your leg muscles to do the lifting.
Put the item down as close as possible to the designated area.
Always put items at a close distance. Use carts to move items closer to their designated sections.
When storing frozen items, always use gloves. Low temperatures can restrict blood flow to your blood vessels, adding more stress on your hand.
When reaching items on high shelves, use a step stool.
When stocking low shelves for long periods, use knee pads, kneeler or a stool.
It's always better to rotate stocking duties. Doing so will help reduce prolonged kneeling, awkward postures and stress on the body.
Front End Practices (Checkout, Bagging, and Carryout)
Checkout counters play an important role in the retail industry.
They are usually manned by cashiers who are in-charge of accepting payments from customers and by baggers who help load their purchases.
Although cashiers and baggers play a critical role in the entire retail service, they are not immune to injuries and disorders.
In fact, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) identifies **cashiers **and **baggers **as part of the top ten occupations with a high risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders.
Which among the choices are good for designing cashier counters?
When bagging groceries, use an adjustable-height bag stand.
Avoid long arm reaches by putting the bag as close as possible.
Bags with handles are always preferable as they are easier to carry.
When retrieving carts from outside, use powered-tugs for easy pull.
Stretching Simple routines to practice at work
Place your feet shoulder width apart, arms on the side.
Bend one leg to a 90-degree angle.
Slowly lower it down and repeat 10 times before switching to the other side.
Practice deep breathing techniques as you perform these stretches.
Always wear comfortable clothes and footwear.
Make these stretching techniques part of your daily routine before going to work or while taking a short break.
With lots of health benefits, stretching will definitely help you start your day right.