Comment Period on Ergonomics Guidelines for Grocery Stores Extended

OSHA has extended for 45 days the comment period on the agency's draft guidelines for preventing musculoskeletal disorders in the retail grocery store industry.

The agency received several requests from interested members of the public asking for additional time to comment on the draft guidelines first published May 9. "Ergonomics for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders: Draft Guidelines for Retail Grocery Stores" is now available for comment until Aug. 22.

This is the second in a series of industry-specific guidelines for the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace. The guidelines are intended to provide practical solutions for reducing ergonomic-related injuries and illnesses in retail grocery stores. They do not address warehouses, convenience stores or business operations that may be located within grocery stores, such as banks, post offices or coffee shops, although they may be useful to employers and workers in those workplaces.

OSHA also has scheduled a public stakeholder meeting on Sept. 18 to discuss the draft guidelines. The meeting will be held from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at the Washington Court Hotel, 525 New Jersey Avenue, NW, in Washington.

Anyone interested in commenting on the draft retail grocery store ergonomics guidelines should submit three copies of those comments by Aug. 22 to: OSHA Docket Office, Docket GE2003-1, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. 20210. Comments of 10 pages or fewer may be submitted via fax by calling (202) 693-1648. Finally, comments and information on ones intention to participate in the stakeholder meeting can also be sent electronically to ecomments.osha.govl.

Copies of the guidelines can be downloaded from OSHA's Web site at

On June 3, OSHA published Guidelines for Poultry Processing, the third set in the series. Earlier this year, the agency announced that the shipyard industry would be the focus of the fourth set of industry-specific guidelines to reduce ergonomic-related injuries.

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