Ergonomic Features of Supermarket Cash Registers Essay

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International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics 34 (2004) 535–541 www.elsevier.com/locate/ergon Short Communication

Survey of ergonomic features of supermarket cash registers$
Aviva Shinnara,Ã, Joseph Indelicatoa, Michael Altimaria, Shlomo Shinnarb a Touro College School of Health Sciences, NewYork, NY, USA
Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, NY, USA

b

Received 5 January 2004; received in revised form 25 May 2004; accepted 26 May 2004
Available online 11 August 2004

Abstract
This research was conducted to examine the biomechanical features of currently used cash register designs in New
York State. Comparisons and conclusions about the designs are based on
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82 Bon Air Avenue, New Rochelle,
New York, NY 10804, USA. Tel.: +1-914-632-2871; fax: +1914-632-2916.
E-mail address: farf17@aol.com (A. Shinnar).

The role of cumulative trauma disorders
(CTDs), repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in everyday occupations has garnered increased attention in the last few years. While carpal tunnel syndrome
(CTS) is the most publicized, other areas of the

0169-8141/$ - see front matter r 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.ergon.2004.05.007 ARTICLE IN PRESS
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A. Shinnar et al. / International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics 34 (2004) 535–541

body are also equally affected by unsafe working conditions. Workplace injuries cost the US economy over $110 billion annually with 45–50 billion due to ergonomic related injuries (OSHA archive,
2002; UFCW, 2002). Workplace injury represents one of the biggest safety and health issues facing today’s workplace (UFCW, 2002). In 1998 there were an estimated 3.2 million cashiers employed in numerous industries throughout the United States.
Almost one-third of the cashiers were employed in supermarkets and other food stores (US Dept of
Labor, 2000).
The typical supermarket cashier can handle up to
500–1000 items per hour, the equivalent of filling over 80 bags (Sluchak, 1991) with wrist flexion/ extension reaching up to 600 times per hour
(AIHA, 2003). During an average eight hour shift, a cashier will lift over

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