Being a cashier is one of the most dangerous jobs as far as robberies are concerned, for this reason health and safety of cashiers at work should be of great concern to both employees and their employers.
Cashier Job Duties
The job of a cashier is usually an entry-level position where little to no job experience is necessary to be hired. Cashier jobs can be full or part time and the pay is usually minimum wage. A cashier handles monetary transactions when dealing with the public directly by adding up their purchases usually via an electronic scanning register. The types of businesses that employ cashiers are:
- Gas stations
- Convenient stores
- Fast food restaurants
- Motels and hotels
- Movie theaters
- Department stores
- Grocery stores
- Fitness gyms
- Bank tellers
- Nightclubs and bars
Hazards of the Job
There are several factors that affect health and safety of cashiers at work. According to the Encyclopedia of Health and Safety cashiers health and safety concerns are as follows:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Back pain
- Swollen feet
- Leg pain
- Normal exposure to colds and flu
- Shoulder and neck pain
- Sleep problems if working the night shift
The most dangerous safety concern of cashiers according to the United States Department of Labor and Statistics is "the risk from robberies and homicides is much higher for cashiers than for other workers". Certain businesses that employ cashiers are at more of a risk of robbery, especially if the access into the store is right off the street. For example, gas stations and convenient stores are at a greater risk for robberies. Employers can lower the risk of robbery by providing a well-lit parking lot, installing cameras inside and outside the facility and training cashiers how to recognize and handle robberies.
Hand and Wrist Pain
Cashiers perform repetitive motions in using the cash register and moving products. The same repetitive motion can cause pain and in some advanced cases, carpal tunnel syndrome. The use of a scanner greatly reduces hand and wrist pain.
Most cashiers stand up all day at their workstation. Musculoskeletal disorders such as low back pain, swollen feet, and leg pain can result. Employers can alleviate much of this problem by providing tall swivel chairs to sit on when the cashier wants to relieve back and leg pressure. Providing a padded floor pad can also alleviate pressure on the feet and back and make standing more comfortable. Adding a very low stool to elevate one foot once in a while allows the cashier to shift positions, taking pressure off the legs and low back.
Shoulder and Neck Pain
Neck and shoulder pain results when a cashier has to repetitively lift and lower their arm to accept money. Lifting the arm to an uncomfortable height continually to accept money or move products can cause pain. Lowering the cash register to an acceptable height can alleviate pain in the shoulders and neck.
Exposure To Cold and Flu
A cashier works directly with the public, exchanging money and products across the workstation. Germs are passed along from person to person due to contaminated work surfaces from sneezes and coughs. Providing the cashier with hand sanitizing gel may reduce colds and flu.
Sleep Problems For Late Shift Workers
The night shift is usually classified as any hours after 10pm until morning. Cashiers that work these hours may have problems sleeping the next day, and staying awake at work. Drinking too much caffeine during your shift to help you stay awake may make it harder to sleep the next day. Employers can alleviate the problem by varying the cashier's shifts, by assigning night shift only two or three nights a week.
Making Health and Safety of Cashiers at Work a Priority
Just because a cashier's job is generally an entry-level position, employers should make it a priority to make their job safe. The above sections suggest methods to incorporate health and safety of cashiers at work ideas into the job. Turnover will be less if you can retain a happy and healthy cashier in your business.