Introduction

Experts in this field are human factor specialists who have focused their studies on how employees interact with retail spaces, specifically in the whitegoods, furniture, and floor covering industries. These industries often involve moving large, bulky objects around, so unique considerations may arise. Ergonomics relate to the effect of certain activities on the body, in this case, the effect that the actions of lifting, pulling, and loading/unloading can have on the body. There is plenty of opportunity for employees to be injured or subjected to discomfort when handling these products. As the retail premises are often complex spaces they require a rigorous assessment by a specialist of ergonomics to ensure that every element is conducive to a safe and welcoming environment.

Some of the consequences of poor ergonomics in these spaces can be very detrimental – slip hazards, improper egress in the event of an emergency, or general discomfort for the workers. For whitegoods, furniture, and floor covering retail spaces, the risks to employees can be even greater, due to the weight and size of some of their products. Back and limb injuries are of particular note, as are injuries sustained due to improper use of the equipment used to move these products around. There is a high degree of importance of the ergonomics of the point of service, as this is where employees will spend a large amount of time and their safety and comfort is very important for delivering high-quality service and keeping them well. Special training is needed to ensure all staff are aware of how to handle the especially bulky and heavy items in these spaces.

Ergonomics expertise in this area is usually sought to promote the well-being of employees especially, and to ensure safe practices are being promoted and enforced. Protecting employees in this way both safeguards their personal health and the interests of the employer, protecting them from legal action. Without this awareness, employees can suffer injuries precluding them from work for short or long term stretches, sometimes permanently. Good ergonomics has the side effect of protecting stock also.

Experts in this area come from many professional backgrounds. Some will be trained ergonomists, some are WH&S experts, occupational therapists, human factor experts specialising in systems of work, or even engineers focused on safe work environments. They may also come from a medical background, from physiotherapists and chiropractors to doctors specialising in limb or spine injuries. The specific specialisation and background needed in your retail ergonomics expert will be determined by the matter which requires examination.

At the bottom of this profile are brief details of a number of the experts that Expert Experts represents. Call our office to discuss your requirements and to obtain an expert submission that suits your needs and budget.

Expertise in Action

Experts in the ergonomics of whitegoods, furniture, and floor covering retail can be called upon to assist in cases relating to workplace policy, civil planning, signage and safety measures, seating and standing at the point of service, and injuries sustained due to improper ergonomics or use of moving equipment.

Sample Reports

For some fields of expertise we have some sample sections of de-identified reports. Please contact our office if you are interested in a sample.

Cost

The overall cost of expert opinion depends on the services required. Some of the key factors that affect the cost of advice include:

  • The need for a view or inspection of a location
  • The quantity of documentary material to be reviewed
  • Whether there are reports of other experts to be reviewed and commented on in detail
  • Whether there is a need for conferences with the expert either in person or by telephone/Skype
Relevant Articles Ergonomic Guidelines for Manual Material Handling

A booklet for correct manual material handling, often a factor in injuries sustained at work especially in these industries.

Manual Techniques For Moving furniture

Technique for moving furniture, especially relevant in a retail environment where some staff may not be experienced with moving such bulky objects.

How Retail Ergonomics Can Better the Employee and Customer Experience

Outlining the benefits of retail ergonomics to all parties.

Relevant Cases Daghlian v Australian Postal Corporation [2003] FCA 759 (23 July 2003)

A case concerning an employee’s positioning in the store whilst working.

HANNA-PAULEY -v- AMP SHOPPING CENTRES PTY LTD [2007] WASCA 174 (22 August 2007)

A case concerning the egress from a store in a shopping centre.

State of New South Wales v Charter Hall Retail Management Limited (formerly Macquarie Countrywide Management Limited) and Anor [2019] NSWDC 95 (25 March 2019)

A case concerning an injury sustained by a worker in a retail environment.

Related Blog Articles

A sample of our experts in Ergonomics – Retail (whitegoods, furniture, carpet, floorcoverings)

Below are short profiles of a sample of some of the experts with expertise in this field. Not all of the experts we work with appear on our website and finding new experts for unusual or hard to find fields is our specialty.

Please contact our office to discuss your specific requirements and to obtain an expert submission that suits your needs and budget. Expert Experts are experts in finding the right expert for your needs.

Contact us at answers@expertexperts.com.au or give us a call 1300 72 66 55

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