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OSHA Trade Release
Thursday, May 8, 2003
Contact: Layne Lathram
Phone: (202) 693-1999


OSHA Invites Comments on Draft Ergonomics Guidelines For Retail Grocery Stores
Newest Draft Guidelines on OSHA's Website

WASHINGTON -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced today that the 2nd set of draft industry-specific ergonomics guidelines -- Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders: Guidelines for Retail Grocery Stores -- is available for public comment at /SLTC/ergonomics (select "guidelines"). The draft guidelines will be published in the May 9, 2003 Federal Register.

"In developing these guidelines, OSHA reviewed existing ergonomic practices and programs in the retail grocery industry, and visited grocery stores to observe programs in action," said John L. Henshaw, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. "The agency also considered the available scientific data, and conducted one-on-one meetings with stakeholder groups to gather the best information available on successful practices, programs and processes in the retail grocery store industry."

The draft guidelines consist of an introduction and two main sections. The introduction provides an overview of musculoskeletal disorders in retail grocery stores and explains the role of ergonomics in reducing these injuries. The first section describes how to develop and implement a strategy for analyzing the workplace, implementing ergonomic solutions, training employees, addressing injury reports, and evaluating progress. The second section gives examples of solutions that may be used by retail grocery stores to control exposure to ergonomic risk factors in their workplaces, including recommendations geared to specific departments like stocking, bakery, produce, meat, and checkout, bagging and carryout. The draft guidelines conclude with a list of helpful references and resources.

"Many grocery stores have implemented injury prevention efforts," continued Henshaw. "The grocery store industry has reduced occupational injuries by a third over the last 10 years, from 12.5 per 100 full-time workers in 1992 to 8.1 in 2001. But workers are still injured in this industry, and we hope these guidelines will help employers reduce the injury and illness rate still further."

The guidelines are intended to provide practical solutions for reducing ergonomic-related injuries and illnesses in retail grocery stores. They do not address warehouses, convenience stores, or business operations that may be located within grocery stores, such as banks, post offices or coffee shops, although they may be useful to employers and workers in those workplaces. They will not be used for enforcement purposes. OSHA is also working on guidelines for the poultry processing and shipyard industries, and will make drafts available for comment.

Interested parties must submit written comments on the draft retail grocery store ergonomics guidelines to the OSHA Docket Office by July 8, 2003. After the conclusion of the comment period, there will be a stakeholder meeting in the Washington, DC metropolitan area to discuss the draft guidelines. Individuals are required to submit their intent to participate in this one-day stakeholder meeting by July 8, 2003. Location and date will be announced at a later date. Copies of the guidelines can be downloaded from the OSHA Webpage and also are available by calling OSHA toll-free at (800) 321-OSHA (6742) or faxing a request to (202) 693-2498. Additional information on submitting comments is available by calling the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-2350 (TTY (877) 889-5627), or in the May 9, 2003 Federal Register.


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Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.


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