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Common supermarket hazards facing employees

If you work in a supermarket, you may not think it is a very dangerous place. But just because it is not a construction site or factory does not mean it does not have hazards. Grocery stores pose plenty of health and safety risks for employees that can cause you harm.

The most common injuries for grocery and retail workers as a whole are musculoskeletal disorders. But how do these injuries occur? By identifying supermarket hazards, you are more likely to avoid them. 

Slipping hazards

The third most common cause of retail injuries is slip, trip and fall accidents. Slipping hazards occur when water builds up on supermarket floors. Anything from product spills to leaky refrigeration units can create this type of hazard. Make sure you wear slip-resistant footwear. Your employer should train you on the best cleaning practices and schedules. 

Obstructive hazards

If objects are in the walkways and aisles of your grocery store, you are at risk of tripping. Common tripping hazards include the following:

  • Loose floor mats
  • Products on the floor
  • Electrical cords
  • Pallets

Poor lighting may also make it difficult for you to see where you are walking and avoid items. Keep an eye out for any possible hazards and take immediate action to clear walkways so you can prevent accidents.

Mechanical hazards

No matter what your position is at the grocery store, you deal with some sort of tools, machinery or equipment. Anything from a forklift to a deli slicer can be dangerous. You should receive proper training on how to use any equipment and wear the right protective gear. Someone should regularly inspect equipment and machinery for damage.

Repetitive hazards

Working in a grocery store often requires you to perform repetitive motions. Any repetitive activity, such as scanning items or mopping floors, can result in musculoskeletal problems, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, sprains and strains. Your employer should give you enough breaks and different tasks to rest. 

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