DENMARK: preventing MSDs in the retail sector

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From 15 March 2022, the Danish Working Environment Authority will pay special attention to ergonomic aspects in grocery shops, supermarkets and other shops. Employees put their bodies to the test when twisting their backs, carrying heavy loads or making repetitive movements at the checkout, as labour inspectors have observed.

The Danish Authority therefore recommends reviewing the processes step by step to find possible improvements and avoid musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), including:

  • Using appropriate technical aids (pallet lifts, trolleys, etc.) instead of lifting and carrying, especially when shelving,
  • Training the employee in the correct use and operation of these technical aids,
  • Adapting the workplace for the employee (e.g. avoiding lack of space),
  • Varying the work by switching from one task to another during the day.

The Authority provides a number of practical sheets on this subject. It places particular emphasis on young people under the age of 18, pointing out that in organizing tasks, account must be taken of their limited experience, their sometimes lack of awareness of the risks to their health and the fact that they are not yet fully developed physically.

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