Grocery store work can be physically demanding. Depending on the services offered, (bakery, butcher, deli, floral, etc.) you could be exposed to heat, sharp cutting instruments, and repetitive motion. Working with the public and handling money can also pose security risks.

Stocking product onto the fronts of higher shelves can cause you to reach and overextend, leading to discomfort and possible risk of an ergonomic injury. Use lightweight and portable stepstools or ladders to reach higher shelves. Shelves that you load from the back can prevent overreaching, or place a false back on the shelf to keep items close.

Carts save you a lot of work loading and lifting. Place items like stock, produce, ice, etc. on carts to help you move them. Lift properly to protect your back. Lift with your legs and keep your back straight. Avoid twisting and overreaching.

Repetitive motions

For scanning, cake decorating, and other repetitive tasks, keep your work close to you. Take frequent microbreaks every 20 minutes to avoid fatigue. Set scanners on sensitive settings with audio feedback. Program scanners to allow you to enter multiple items on the keyboard to reduce scanning motions. Key-in items gently; avoid tapping your fingers hard. Use a removable wand to scan heavy and bulky items.

For cutting tasks like opening boxes, butchering, trimming produce and flowers, and preparing deli products, use the proper tools. Keep them sharp and in good working order. Consider puncture resistant gloves to avoid cuts and punctures. Keep moving mixers and slicers guarded and know where your hands are at all times while operating them.

Preventing slips and trips

Clean spills immediately, place wet floor warning signs in the area, and wear shoes with non-slip soles. To prevent workplace violence, get training in customer service and know your store’s security procedures. Know your store’s cash handling policy and post signs to discourage theft. Follow security measures to keep back and side doors secure.

Keep safety in stock at your grocery store.