Convenience Store and Grocery Stores Insurance

Your Grocery Store Insurance Cost Reduction Partner

GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. can deliver the strategies, tools and resources that will help you manage your grocery store risks, control workers’ compensation insurance costs, advance safety and boost employee morale.

A Commitment to Safety Lowers the Cost of Your Stores Insurance!

GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. provides all its grocery and convenience store clients full OSHA Safety programs along with employee handbooks to help reduce claims which will help reduce the cost of your stores insurance!

Some examples of claims we see that increase the cost of your store insurance program are:

  • Muscle strains and back injuries that occur from repeated use or overexertion
  • Tendonitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Rotator cuff injuries (a shoulder problem)
  • Epicondylitis (an elbow problem)
  • Trigger finger (occurs from repeated use of a single finger)

Call GDI today 888-991-2929 for help reducing the cost of your convenience store insurance or grocery store insurance!

GDI Insurance Agency helps you set up your Store wide Ergonomics Solutions

Depending on your position, grocery store work can be physically demanding. You may handle thousands of items each day when stocking shelves, checking groceries, decorating bakery items, or preparing deli and meat products. These tasks involve several ergonomic risk factors, including the affects of force, repetition, awkward posture, and static postures on the body.

To avoid injury, the following ergonomic principles include safe work practices that all employees can follow to reduce their risk of injury.This includes proper grips, grasps, and lifting techniques:

Power Grips:

A power grip can be described as wrapping all the fingers and the thumb around the object that is being gripped. It is sometimes described as making a fist around the object being gripped. The power grip can be used for many items, including bags, cans, and small boxes. A power grip uses the muscles of the hand and forearm effectively. Consequently, a one- or two-handed power grip should be used whenever possible. When the item to be grasped is too heavy or bulky to lift with a one-hand power grip, use a two-hand power grip.

Store Lifting Safety: 

Most grocery store jobs involve some lifting. Whether a particular lift will require assistance depends on several factors, including the weight and size of the object, how frequently the object is lifted, how close the object is to the ground, how high it must be lifted, how far it must be carried, and whether it has handles. For bulky, awkward, or heavy items (over 50 lbs.), utilize a dolly or cart, or seek assistance from a co-worker. Other lifting tips include:

  • Before lifting boxes and cases, check the weight so you can prepare to lift properly;
  • Turn your body as a unit to avoid twisting at the waist;
  • Keep the item you are lifting close to your body;
  • Keep your back straight;
  • Use your leg muscles to do the lifting;
  • Lift smoothly without jerking; and
  • Get close to where you want to set the item down.

Recommended Working Postures

Recommended Working Postures describe body positions that are neutral and comfortable to use. Using postures other than those recommended will generally waste energy and motion, as well as potentially raise your risk of injury. The following are ergonomic tips for specific parts of the body:

Shoulders and Arms – Keep the shoulders relaxed – not “shrugged-up” or “slumped-down.” Keep your elbows close to your body. Keep work at about elbow height.

Head and Neck – Avoid situations that require twisting the neck or bending it forward, backward, or to the side.

Hands and Wrists – Keep the hands straight and in line with the forearms; avoid twisting hands or working with wrists pressed against sharp or hard edges.

Back – Stand straight and avoid situations that require bending (forward or backward), leaning to the side, or twisting. A sit/stand stool will allow for changes in posture. For work performed while sitting, a back rest will help maintain proper posture.

Feet and Legs – Placing a foot on a footrest or other support will promote comfort.

It is also important to change your position frequently and stretch between tasks; this improves circulation and lessens fatigue.

GDI can help you Develop clear ergonomic goals

  • Express the company’s commitment to achieving them
  • Assign responsibilities (training, job analysis, etc) to designated staff members to achieve goals
  • Ensure that assigned responsibilities are fulfilled
  • Provide appropriate resources

This policy is a guideline to reduce workplace accidents for grocery store employees. It may not prevent all accidents from occurring. It does not address potential compliance issues with Federal, State or local OSHA or any other regulatory agency standards. Nor is it meant to be exhaustive or construed as legal advice. Consult your licensed commercial Property and Casualty representative or legal counsel to address possible compliance requirements.

Involve Employees

Employees are a vital source of information about hazards in their workplace; they can help identify hazards and solve problems. Their involvement can enhance job satisfaction, motivation, and acceptance of workplace changes. There are many different ways you can involve employees in our ergonomics efforts, such as by inviting employees to:

  • Submit suggestions and concerns
  • Identify and report tasks that are difficult to perform
  • Discuss work methods
  • Provide input in the design of workstations, equipment, procedures, and training
  • Help evaluate equipment
  • Respond to surveys and questionnaires
  • Report injuries as soon as they occur
  • Participate fully in MSD case investigations
  • Participate in task groups with responsibility for ergonomics

Identify Problems

Grocery store work can be physically demanding. Many workers handle thousands of items each day when stocking shelves, checking groceries, decorating bakery items, and preparing meat products. These tasks involve several ergonomic risk factors, including:

Force amount of physical effort required to perform a task (such as heavy lifting, pushing, or pulling), handle merchandise, or maintain control of equipment or tools.

Repetition performing the same motion or series of motions continually or frequently for an extended period of time.

Awkward and static postures assuming positions that place stress on the body, such as prolonged or repetitive reaching above shoulder height, kneeling, squatting, leaning over a counter, using a knife with wrists bent, or twisting the torso while lifting.

Contact stress pressing the body or part of the body (such as the hand) against hard or sharp edges, or using the hand as a hammer.

When there are several risk factors in a job, there can be a greater risk of injury. However, the presence of risk factors in a job does not necessarily mean that employees will develop an MSD. Whether certain work activities put an employee at risk of injury depends on the duration (how long), frequency (how often), and magnitude (how intense) of the employee’s exposure to the risk factors from the activity.

It is important to periodically review the activities of employees to identify possible ergonomic issues. This may include a review of OSHA 300 and 301 injury and illness information, workers’ compensation records, and employee reports of problems. You can also identify ergonomic issues by talking with employees and walking through the grocery store to observe employees performing their jobs. Appropriately use the following checklists to help analyze tasks and ergonomic risks in the workplace.

Workplace Activity Checklist:

The following checklist is designed to help managers assess potential ergonomic risk factors by workplace activity. If the answer to any of the following questions is yes, the activity should be further reviewed.

Force in Lifting

  • Does the lift involve pinching to hold the object?
  • Is heavy lifting done with one hand?
  • Are very heavy items lifted without the assistance of a mechanical device?
  • Are heavy items lifted while bending over, reaching above shoulder height, or twisting?
  • Are most items lifted rather than slid over the scanner?

Force in Pushing, Pulling, Carrying

  • Are dollies, pallet jacks, or other carts difficult to get started?
  • Is there debris (e.g., broken pallets) or uneven surfaces (e.g., cracks in the floor) or dock plates that could catch the wheels while pushing?
  • Is pulling rather than pushing routinely used to move an object?
  • Are heavy objects carried manually for a long distance?

Force to Use Tools

  • Do tools require the use of a pinch grip or single finger to operate?
  • Are tools too large or too small for the employee’s hands?

Repetitive Tasks

  • Are multiple scans needed?
  • Is a quick wrist motion used while scanning?
  • Do repetitive motions last for several hours without a break (e.g., slicing deli meats, scanning groceries)?
  • Does the job require repeated finger force (e.g., kneading bread, squeezing frosting, or using pricing gun)?

Awkward and Static Postures

  • Is the back bent or twisted while lifting or holding heavy items?
  • Are objects lifted out of or put into cramped spaces?
  • Do routine tasks involve leaning, bending forward, kneeling or squatting?
  • Do routine tasks involve working with the wrists in a bent or twisted position?
  • Are routine tasks done with the hands below the waist or above the shoulders?
  • Are routine tasks done behind (e.g., pushing items to bagging) or to the sides of the body?
  • Does the job require standing for most of the shift without anti-fatigue mats?
  • Do employees work with their arms or hands in the same position for long periods of time without changing positions or resting?

Contact Stress

  • Are there sharp or hard edges with which the worker may come into contact?
  • Do employees use their hands as a hammer (e.g., closing containers)?
  • Does the end of the tool/utensil (knife) handle press into the worker’s palm?

Identifying Potential Job-Specific Ergonomics Concerns Checklist:

The following checklist is designed to help managers assess potential job-specific ergonomic risk factors. If the answer to any of the following questions is no, the activity may be a potential source of ergonomic concern, depending on the duration, frequency, and magnitude of the activity.

Cashiering

  • Are items within easy reach?
  • Are keyboard supports adjustable?
  • Can the cashier work with items at about elbow height?
  • Can the display be read without twisting?
  • Are all edges smoothed or rounded so the cashier does not come into contact with sharp or hard edges?
  • Are objects easily scanned the first time?
  • Are objects scanned without twisting hand motions?
  • Can cashiers scan heavy/bulky/awkward items without lifting them?
  • Are the scale, conveyor, and horizontal scanner plates all the same height?
  • Is the scanner plate clean and unscratched?
  • Does the cashier have an anti-fatigue mat and/or footrest?

Bagging and Carry-Out

  • Can the bagger adjust the height of the bag stand?
  • Are all edges smoothed or rounded so the bagger does not come into contact with sharp or hard edges?
  • Do bags have handles?
  • Can the bagger put bags into cart without leaning over the checkstand or twisting the back?

Produce

  • Are knives kept sharp?
  • Are worktables, etc. positioned so that the work can be performed at about elbow height?
  • Are carts used to move heavy items?

Shelf Stocking & Stockrooms

  • Are stepstools/ladders used to reach high shelves?
  • Is stocking performed with minimal twisting or bending?

BEFORE YOU LIFT, READ THIS!

Safe lifting can help you avoid sprains, strains and other painful injuries when working with heavy or awkward loads. Here’s how:

When lifting a load from ground level:

  • Get as close as possible to the load.
  • Bend your knees, not your back.
  • Get a good grip on the object and test its weight.
  • Keep the load close to your body and lift using your legs.

When lifting a load from overhead:

  • – Always stand on a stable surface before you attempt the lift.
  • – Test the load to be sure you can lift it safely.
  • – Take the object off of the shelf or support carefully, maintaining your balance.
  • – Maintain control of the load, and bring it down to waist level.
  • When lifting from a shelf, desk or counter:
  • – Pull the load close to your body and test its weight.
  • – Shift the weight of the load to your legs by keeping it close.
  • – Avoid reaching and lifting at the same time.

Psst! What’s Your Body Trying to Tell You?

Working with a computer doesn’t have to be a strain. To make your work more pleasant and less stressful on your body, be on the lookout for warning signs which indicate that your working conditions need to be adjusted.

  • Eyestrain and headaches: Adjust your computer screen because it may be too bright or not bright enough, and make sure it’s positioned an arm’s length away from where you are sitting. Eliminate sources of glare on the screen, and if eye strain continues, consider having an eye exam.
  • Sore hands, wrists, arms, shoulders: These conditions indicate that you aren’t sitting properly. Make sure that you have arm and wrist supports. Raise or lower the keyboard so that your arms are at a 90-degree angle (like the letter “L”).
  • Sore back: These conditions indicate that you’re slouching, or working in a chair that doesn’t provide enough support. Try placing a rolled up towel in the small of your back to ease the strain.
  • Numbness in your legs and feet: The chair may be restricting blood circulation. Try using a footrest or a chair with a downward-curving front edge.

Call GDI today 888-991-2929 for help reducing the cost of your convenience store insurance or grocery store insurance!