Last updated on August 24th, 2015 at 02:15 pm
The U.S Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has credited Hannaford for setting new worker protection measures after the company was cited by OSHA for failing to keep two distribution centers free from hazards that can cause disorders of the muscular and skeletal systems.
After inspections in 2013 and 2014, OSHA cited Hannaford for failing to keep its Schodack Landing, New York, and South Portland, Maine, distribution centers free from recognized hazards likely to cause musculoskeletal disorders,
Hannaford initially contested the citations but reached a settlement with the department in which the company agrees to institute ongoing and effective worker protection safeguards at both distribution centers.
“Many jobs in grocery and other warehouses require significant amounts of manual material handling. If employers do not take steps to address musculoskeletal hazards, workers will be hurt,” said OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels. “Hannaford is investing in preventing worker injuries. We urge other employers to follow its example. This action is good for workers and for a company’s bottom line.”
Under the settlement, Hannaford is doing the following:
• Engage a qualified ergonomist to assess both warehouses and prepare a report with recommendations addressing each of the hazards identified by OSHA.
• Have an employee-manager ergonomics committee at each facility participate in the process and make recommendations to the ergonomist and the company.
• Ensure that employees of contractors who perform similar work in the warehouses have access to the same protective measures as Hannaford employees.
• Request those contractors to implement the ergonomic work practices recommended by the ergonomist.
• Pay $9,750 in fines.
To assist employers and workers in identifying and preventing MSDs and other injuries in grocery warehouses, OSHA has a free grocery warehousing tool available on its website. In addition, OSHA has published an additional resource titled, “Ergonomic Solutions For Retailers.”