From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Ergonomics- Unloading and Scanning Groceries

Task Prior to Abatement (Description)

Ergonomic case study for workers unloading and scanning groceries. Workers had to unload groceries from deep basket carts and scan them.

Task Prior to Abatement (Method Which Identified Hazard)

3 confirmed medical cases of CTDs in 1987.

Ergonomic Risk Factor (Posture)

Awkward wrist and arm positions were encouraged and trained to scan the materials.

Checkers were required to be in awkward postures in order to perform the task.

Ergonomic Risk Factor (Repetition)

The task involves repetitive motion.

Ergonomic Solution (Administrative Controls)

  1. Training was provided for new employees.
  2. New employees were observed and coached for the first two weeks to ensure that they did not adopt bad ergonomic habits.

Ergonomic Solution (Engineering Controls)

  1. Checkstands were modified.
  2. Checkstands were raised.
  3. Checker mats were purchased to reduce fatigue.
  4. Scales were moved.
  5. Keyboards were raised and placed on adjustable pedestals.
  6. Back supports were provided but not required.
  7. Adjustable grocery bag wells were provided to accommodate workers with different heights.
  8. New faster and more accurate scanners were purchased.

Ergonomic Solution (Benefits)

  • All workers that perform the task now have reduced exposure to CTDs.
  • Reduction in workers compensation costs.

Ergonomic Solution (Cost)

  • New scanner cost about $11,000 for the company.
  • Modification of checkstands cost about $500 per stand.

Ergonomic Solution (Method Which Verified Effectiveness)

There were only two confirmed CTDs cases in the last 8 years.


Ergonomics awareness program in company starts emphasizing safety since job interview.