Convenience Store Insurance

Educate Staff.
Control Costs.
Minimize Risks.

Your Grocery Store Partner

Our agency can deliver the strategies, tools and resources that will help you manage your grocery store risks, control workers' compensation claim costs, advance safety and boost employee morale.

Legal disclaimer to users of this form employee handbook:

The materials presented herein are for general reference only. Federal, state and/or local laws, or individual circumstances, may require the addition of policies, amendment of individual policies, and/or the entire Manual to meet specific situations. These materials are intended to be used only as guides and should not be used, adopted, or modified without the advice of legal counsel. These materials are presented, therefore, with the understanding that the Company is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.

Commitment to Safety

Our Company recognizes that our people drive the business. As the most critical resource, employees will be safeguarded through training, provision of appropriate work surroundings, and procedures that foster protection of health and safety. All work conducted by our Company's employees will take into account the intent of this policy. No duty, no matter what its perceived result, will be deemed more important than employee health and safety.

Our Company is firmly committed to the safety of our employees. We will do everything possible to prevent workplace accidents and we are committed to providing a safe working environment for all employees.

We value our employees not only as employees but also as human beings critical to the success of their family, the local community, and this Company.

Employees are encouraged to report any unsafe work practices or safety hazards encountered on the job. All accidents/incidents (no matter how slight) are to be immediately reported to the supervisor on duty.

A key factor in implementing this policy will be the strict compliance to all applicable federal, state, local, and Company policies and procedures. Failure to comply with these policies may result in disciplinary actions.

Respecting this, we will make every reasonable effort to provide a safe and healthful workplace that is free from any recognized or known potential hazards. Additionally, our Company subscribes to these principles:

1. All accidents are preventable through implementation of effective Safety and Health Control policies and programs.

2. Safety and Health controls are a major part of our work every day.

3. Accident prevention is good business. It minimizes human suffering, promotes better working conditions for everyone, holds our Company in higher regard with customers, and increases productivity. This is why we will comply with all safety and health regulations which apply to the course and scope of operations.

4. Management is responsible for providing the safest possible workplace for Employees. Consequently, management is committed to allocating and providing all of the resources needed to promote and effectively implement this safety policy.

5. Employees are responsible for following safe work practices and company rules, and for preventing accidents and injuries. Management will establish lines of communication to solicit and receive comments, information, suggestions and assistance from employees where safety and health are concerned.

6. Management and supervisors will set an exemplary example with good attitudes and strong commitment to safety and health in the workplace. Toward this end, Management must monitor company safety and health performance, working environment and conditions to ensure that program objectives are achieved.

7. Our safety program applies to all employees and persons affected or associated in any way by the scope of this business. Everyone's goal must be to constantly improve safety awareness and to prevent accidents and injuries.

Everyone at our Company must be involved and committed to safety. This must be a team effort. Together, we can prevent accidents and injuries. Together, we can keep each other safe and healthy in the work that provides our livelihood.

Grocery Store Ergonomics Policy - For Employees


Location: ___________________________ Effective Date: _____________________

Revision Number: 1

This Ergonomics Policy for Employees is designed to help support worker safety. The information in this policy is based on OSHA's latest voluntary ergonomics guidelines for retail grocery stores and successful grocery store industry practices used to reduce or lessen the severity of potential work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The term MSD refers to a variety of injuries and illnesses, including:

  • Muscle strains and back injuries that occur from repeated use or overexertion
  • Tendonitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Rotator cuff injuries (a shoulder problem)
  • Epicondylitis (an elbow problem)
  • Trigger finger (occurs from repeated use of a single finger)

This policy contains guidelines that address only physical factors in the workplace that are related to the development of MSDs. It provides you with information about effective approaches to be used when determining the need for ergonomic solutions, such as when lifting, gripping, etc. The recommendations and information presented here are intended as a general guideline.

Storewide Ergonomics Solutions

Depending on your position, grocery store work can be physically demanding. You may handle thousands of items each day when stocking shelves, checking groceries, decorating bakery items, or preparing deli and meat products. These tasks involve several ergonomic risk factors, including the affects of force, repetition, awkward posture, and static postures on the body.

To avoid injury, the following ergonomic principles include safe work practices that all employees can follow to reduce their risk of injury.This includes proper grips, grasps, and lifting techniques:

Power Grips: A power grip can be described as wrapping all the fingers and the thumb around the object that is being gripped. It is sometimes described as making a fist around the object being gripped. The power grip can be used for many items, including bags, cans, and small boxes. A power grip uses the muscles of the hand and forearm effectively. Consequently, a one- or two-handed power grip should be used whenever possible. When the item to be grasped is too heavy or bulky to lift with a one-hand power grip, use a two-hand power grip.

Power Grasps: A pinch grasp should never be used when a power grip can be used instead. However, a pinch grasp is acceptable for small, light items (e.g., a pack of gum).

Prepared by: Date: Approved by: Date:


This policy is a guideline to reduce workplace accidents for grocery store employees. It may not prevent all accidents from occurring. It does not address potential compliance issues with Federal, State or local OSHA or any other regulatory agency standards. Nor is it meant to be exhaustive or construed as legal advice. Consult your licensed commercial Property and Casualty representative or legal counsel to address possible compliance requirements.

Lifting Safety:
Most grocery store jobs involve some lifting. Whether a particular lift will require assistance depends on several factors, including the weight and size of the object, how frequently the object is lifted, how close the object is to the ground, how high it must be lifted, how far it must be carried, and whether it has handles. For bulky, awkward, or heavy items (over 50 lbs.), utilize a dolly or cart, or seek assistance from a co-worker. Other lifting tips include:

  • Before lifting boxes and cases, check the weight so you can prepare to lift properly;
  • Turn your body as a unit to avoid twisting at the waist;
  • Keep the item you are lifting close to your body;
  • Keep your back straight;
  • Use your leg muscles to do the lifting;
  • Lift smoothly without jerking; and
  • Get close to where you want to set the item down.

Recommended Working Postures

Recommended Working Postures describe body positions that are neutral and comfortable to use. Using postures other than those recommended will generally waste energy and motion, as well as potentially raise your risk of injury. The following are ergonomic tips for specific parts of the body:

Shoulders and Arms - Keep the shoulders relaxed - not "shrugged-up" or "slumped-down." Keep your elbows close to your body. Keep work at about elbow height.

Head and Neck - Avoid situations that require twisting the neck or bending it forward, backward, or to the side.

Hands and Wrists - Keep the hands straight and in line with the forearms; avoid twisting hands or working with wrists pressed against sharp or hard edges.

Back - Stand straight and avoid situations that require bending (forward or backward), leaning to the side, or twisting. A sit/stand stool will allow for changes in posture. For work performed while sitting, a back rest will help maintain proper posture.

Feet and Legs - Placing a foot on a footrest or other support will promote comfort.

It is also important to change your position frequently and stretch between tasks; this improves circulation and lessens fatigue.



Performing work within the best and preferred work zones facilitates productivity and comfort.

Best Work Zone:

As far forward as your wrist when you hold your arm slightly bent
As wide as the shoulders
Upper level at about heart height
Lower level at about waist height

Preferred Work Zone
As far forward as your hand when you hold your arm out straight
A foot on either side of the shoulders
Upper level at shoulder height
Lower level at tip of fingers with hands held at the side

Work is safest when lifting and reaching is performed in these zones. Working outside these work zones results in non-neutral postures that may increase your risk of injury. It is particularly important to perform heavy lifting tasks within the best work zone.

Ergonomic Solutions by Department

This section features helpful ergonomic tips specific to stocking; bakery; meat & deli; produce; and checkout, bagging & carryout activities.


  • In order to reduce stress to the back, keep cases close to the body when lifting/carrying.
  • Use thermal gloves when stocking frozen foods. Cold temperatures can reduce circulation, causing stress on the hands. If pricing, use a glove with textured fingertips to wipe frost from frozen foods.
  • Use knee pads when stocking low shelves for long periods of time. This reduces the stress on the knees and legs when kneeling.
  • Use a step stool to reach items on the tops of pallets or on high shelves.
  • Use a kneeler or stool when working at low shelves for long periods of time. This reduces stress on the knees and legs when squatting and kneeling.
  • Rotate your stocking tasks to avoid prolonged kneeling, squatting, and overhead reaching.
  • Use a cart to move items from the pallet to the shelving or case where they are stocked.
  • Use the correct safety cutter for the job. Keep safety cutters sharp. Using dull tools requires more force.
  • Before stocking, ensure that the floor areas are level and free of debris and spills. Report any floor problems to your manager that need repair immediately.
  • Use boxes or totes with hand holds, where suitable.
  • Ensure that there is adequate room around carts and pallets for lifting tasks. You should be able to walk around the pallet or cart, rather than reaching or bending.
  • Use a powered hand jack or scissors-lift to raise a pallet to waist height. This prevents picking up cases with a bent back.


  • Position cake-decorating turntables so that the cake is at about elbow height for a more comfortable working position.
  • Use small decorating bags whenever possible to reduce the stress on your hands.
  • Use smaller containers of flour, sugar, salt and other supplies to reduce the weights that must be handled. When lifting, keep large bags and containers of ingredients close to the body to reduce stress on the back.
  • Use carts or rolling stands to move heavy items like tubs of dough or bags of flour.
  • Whenever possible, break up continuous activities such as cake decorating and dough handling with less strenuous tasks during the shift.
  • Use a short-handled scoop to put icing into decorating bags. Shorter handles reduce the stress to the wrist.
  • Use spatulas, spoons, and other utensils that fit your hand (not too wide or too narrow) and are not slippery.
  • Work from the long side of baking pans to reduce reaches when handling dough.
  • Use powered mixers whenever possible to mix coloring into icing. This reduces the stress to your hands and arms from manually mixing colors into icing.
  • Ensure that the icing is of correct consistency. Icing that is too thick will be difficult to squeeze through decorating bags.
  • Whenever possible, work from the long side of the donut glazing area to reduce reaches and forces on the back.
  • Use a step stool to reach items on high shelves.

Meat & Deli

  • Keep all knives, grinders, cutters, and other equipment sharp and in good repair. Dull or improperly working equipment requires more force to operate.
  • Try different knives to see which are more comfortable to use. Some designs work well for specific cutting, trimming, or portioning tasks and should be considered "special purpose" tools.
  • Wear thermal gloves for use when handling frozen items.
  • Avoid continuous cutting or grinding. Whenever possible, break up these tasks with other, less strenuous tasks throughout your shift.
  • Use a food processor to prepare ingredients for stuffing and other items.
  • Keep large boxes and heavy items close to the body. This helps to reduce stress on the back.
  • Arrange the wrapping station so that labels are within easy reach so you do not have to twist or walk to get to them.
  • If overhead storage is necessary, use it for light items such as foam trays.
  • Use a step stool to reach items on high shelves.
  • Grind meat into a small lug and move it to a comfortable work surface for traying. This prevents the awkward back posture that results from catching and traying the meat immediately as it leaves the grinder.
  • Select tongs with long handles to reach items in the front of the case.
  • Whenever possible, work from the long side of trays to reduce reaches and the resultant high stresses on the back.
  • Avoid working with the hands/wrists held in a bent or twisted position.


  • Keep manual food processing equipment (knives, slicers, etc.) sharp and in good repair. Equipment that is dull or is not working properly may require excess force to operate.
  • Use a lightweight, short-handled plastic shovel for ice. This tool is less stressful to the body than heavy shovels.
  • To reduce stress on your back, keep boxes, melons, bags of potatoes, or other heavy items close to the body when lifting and carrying.
  • Keep heavy items, such as watermelons, in shipping containers and use pallet jacks to move them.
  • Use carts to move heavy items; position carts alongside displays to minimize reaching and carrying.

Checkout, Bagging, and Carryout


  • Perform work within the preferred work zone.


  • Use a keyboard to enter code if item fails to scan after second attempt.


  • Use scan gun for large or bulky items to eliminate the need to handle them.


  • Keep scanners clean; clean dirty plates and report scratched ones to your manager.


  • When bagging, adjust the bag stand so that the tops of plastic bags are just below conveyor height.


  • Move the cart closer to your body to avoid extended reaches when loading bags into carts.


  • When assisting customers with carry outs, use a cart to carry bags and groceries outside the store.

    Grocery Store Ergonomics Policy - For Managers

    Location: ___________________________ Effective Date: _____________________

    This ergonomic policy for managers is designed to help support worker safety. The information in this policy is based on OSHA's latest voluntary ergonomics guidelines for retail grocery stores and successful grocery store industry practices used to reduce or lessen the severity of potential work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The term MSD refers to a variety of injuries and illnesses, including:

    • -- Muscle strains and back injuries that occur from repeated use or overexertion
    • -- Tendonitis
    • -- Carpal tunnel syndrome
    • -- Rotator cuff injuries (a shoulder problem)
    • -- Epicondylitis (an elbow problem)
    • -- Trigger finger (occurs from repeated use of a single finger).

    This policy contains guidelines that address only physical factors in the workplace that are related to the development of MSDs. It is designed to provide a flexible framework for ergonomic solutions in which individual store managers can adapt according to individual needs and resources. Company management personnel should consider adopting the general steps discussed in this policy and are encouraged to incorporate other innovative methods that are appropriate to the workplace.

    Benefits of Instituting this Policy

    Grocery stores that have implemented injury-prevention efforts focusing on musculoskeletal and ergonomic concerns have reported reduced work-related injuries and associated workers' compensation costs. Fewer injuries can also improve morale, reduce employee turnover, and discourage senior employees from retiring early. Workplace changes based on ergonomic principles may also lead to increased productivity by eliminating unneeded motions, reducing fatigue and increasing worker efficiency. Healthier workers, better morale, and higher productivity can also contribute to better customer service.

    Management Support

    Management support for reducing MSDs and communicating support to employees is very important. Management support improves our grocery store's ability to maintain a sustained effort, allocate needed resources, and follow up on program implementation. As part of this effort, managers are encouraged to:

    Develop clear ergonomic goals

    • Express the company's commitment to achieving them
    • Assign responsibilities (training, job analysis, etc) to designated staff members to achieve goals
    • Ensure that assigned responsibilities are fulfilled
    • Provide appropriate resources

    This policy is a guideline to reduce workplace accidents for grocery store employees. It may not prevent all accidents from occurring. It does not address potential compliance issues with Federal, State or local OSHA or any other regulatory agency standards. Nor is it meant to be exhaustive or construed as legal advice. Consult your licensed commercial Property and Casualty representative or legal counsel to address possible compliance requirements.

    Involve Employees

    Employees are a vital source of information about hazards in their workplace; they can help identify hazards and solve problems. Their involvement can enhance job satisfaction, motivation, and acceptance of workplace changes. There are many different ways you can involve employees in our ergonomics efforts, such as by inviting employees to:

    • Submit suggestions and concerns
    • Identify and report tasks that are difficult to perform
    • Discuss work methods
    • Provide input in the design of workstations, equipment, procedures, and training
    • Help evaluate equipment
    • Respond to surveys and questionnaires
    • Report injuries as soon as they occur
    • Participate fully in MSD case investigations
    • Participate in task groups with responsibility for ergonomics

    Identify Problems

    Grocery store work can be physically demanding. Many workers handle thousands of items each day when stocking shelves, checking groceries, decorating bakery items, and preparing meat products. These tasks involve several ergonomic risk factors, including:

    Force - amount of physical effort required to perform a task (such as heavy lifting, pushing, or pulling), handle merchandise, or maintain control of equipment or tools.

    Repetition - performing the same motion or series of motions continually or frequently for an extended period of time.

    Awkward and static postures - assuming positions that place stress on the body, such as prolonged or repetitive reaching above shoulder height, kneeling, squatting, leaning over a counter, using a knife with wrists bent, or twisting the torso while lifting.

    Contact stress - pressing the body or part of the body (such as the hand) against hard or sharp edges, or using the hand as a hammer.

    When there are several risk factors in a job, there can be a greater risk of injury. However, the presence of risk factors in a job does not necessarily mean that employees will develop an MSD. Whether certain work activities put an employee at risk of injury depends on the duration (how long), frequency (how often), and magnitude (how intense) of the employee's exposure to the risk factors from the activity.

    It is important to periodically review the activities of employees to identify possible ergonomic issues. This may include a review of OSHA 300 and 301 injury and illness information, workers' compensation records, and employee reports of problems. You can also identify ergonomic issues by talking with employees and walking through the grocery store to observe employees performing their jobs. Appropriately use the following checklists to help analyze tasks and ergonomic risks in the workplace.

    Workplace Activity Checklist:

    The following checklist is designed to help managers assess potential ergonomic risk factors by workplace activity. If the answer to any of the following questions is yes, the activity should be further reviewed.

    Force in Lifting

    • Does the lift involve pinching to hold the object?
    • Is heavy lifting done with one hand?
    • Are very heavy items lifted without the assistance of a mechanical device?
    • Are heavy items lifted while bending over, reaching above shoulder height, or twisting?
    • Are most items lifted rather than slid over the scanner?

    Force in Pushing, Pulling, Carrying

    • Are dollies, pallet jacks, or other carts difficult to get started?
    • Is there debris (e.g., broken pallets) or uneven surfaces (e.g., cracks in the floor) or dock plates that could catch the wheels while pushing?
    • Is pulling rather than pushing routinely used to move an object?
    • Are heavy objects carried manually for a long distance?

    Force to Use Tools

    • Do tools require the use of a pinch grip or single finger to operate?
    • Are tools too large or too small for the employee's hands?

    Repetitive Tasks

    • Are multiple scans needed?
    • Is a quick wrist motion used while scanning?
    • Do repetitive motions last for several hours without a break (e.g., slicing deli meats, scanning groceries)?
    • Does the job require repeated finger force (e.g., kneading bread, squeezing frosting, or using pricing gun)?

    Awkward and Static Postures

    • Is the back bent or twisted while lifting or holding heavy items?
    • Are objects lifted out of or put into cramped spaces?
    • Do routine tasks involve leaning, bending forward, kneeling or squatting?
    • Do routine tasks involve working with the wrists in a bent or twisted position?
    • Are routine tasks done with the hands below the waist or above the shoulders?
    • Are routine tasks done behind (e.g., pushing items to bagging) or to the sides of the body?
    • Does the job require standing for most of the shift without anti-fatigue mats?
    • Do employees work with their arms or hands in the same position for long periods of time without changing positions or resting?

    Contact Stress

    • Are there sharp or hard edges with which the worker may come into contact?
    • Do employees use their hands as a hammer (e.g., closing containers)?
    • Does the end of the tool/utensil (knife) handle press into the worker's palm?
    Identifying Potential Job-Specific Ergonomics Concerns Checklist:

    The following checklist is designed to help managers assess potential job-specific ergonomic risk factors. If the answer to any of the following questions is no, the activity may be a potential source of ergonomic concern, depending on the duration, frequency, and magnitude of the activity.


    • Are items within easy reach?
    • Are keyboard supports adjustable?
    • Can the cashier work with items at about elbow height?
    • Can the display be read without twisting?
    • Are all edges smoothed or rounded so the cashier does not come into contact with sharp or hard edges?
    • Are objects easily scanned the first time?
    • Are objects scanned without twisting hand motions?
    • Can cashiers scan heavy/bulky/awkward items without lifting them?
    • Are the scale, conveyor, and horizontal scanner plates all the same height?
    • Is the scanner plate clean and unscratched?
    • Does the cashier have an anti-fatigue mat and/or footrest?

    Bagging and Carry-Out

    • Can the bagger adjust the height of the bag stand?
    • Are all edges smoothed or rounded so the bagger does not come into contact with sharp or hard edges?
    • Do bags have handles?
    • Can the bagger put bags into cart without leaning over the checkstand or twisting the back?


    • Are knives kept sharp?
    • Are worktables, etc. positioned so that the work can be performed at about elbow height?
    • Are carts used to move heavy items?

    Shelf Stocking & Stockrooms

    • Are stepstools/ladders used to reach high shelves?
    • Is stocking performed with minimal twisting or bending?


    Safe lifting can help you avoid sprains, strains and other painful injuries when working with heavy or awkward loads. Here's how:

    When lifting a load from ground level:

    • Get as close as possible to the load.
    • Bend your knees, not your back.
    • Get a good grip on the object and test its weight.
    • Keep the load close to your body and lift using your legs.

    When lifting a load from overhead:

    • - Always stand on a stable surface before you attempt the lift.
    • - Test the load to be sure you can lift it safely.
    • - Take the object off of the shelf or support carefully, maintaining your balance.
    • - Maintain control of the load, and bring it down to waist level.
    • When lifting from a shelf, desk or counter:
    • - Pull the load close to your body and test its weight.
    • - Shift the weight of the load to your legs by keeping it close.
    • - Avoid reaching and lifting at the same time.
    Psst! What's Your Body
    Trying to Tell You?

    Working with a computer doesn't have to be a strain. To make your work more pleasant and less stressful on your body, be on the lookout for warning signs which indicate that your working conditions need to be adjusted.

    • Eyestrain and headaches: Adjust your computer screen because it may be too bright or not bright enough, and make sure it's positioned an arm's length away from where you are sitting. Eliminate sources of glare on the screen, and if eye strain continues, consider having an eye exam.
    • Sore hands, wrists, arms, shoulders: These conditions indicate that you aren't sitting properly. Make sure that you have arm and wrist supports. Raise or lower the keyboard so that your arms are at a 90-degree angle (like the letter "L").
    • Sore back: These conditions indicate that you're slouching, or working in a chair that doesn't provide enough support. Try placing a rolled up towel in the small of your back to ease the strain.
    • Numbness in your legs and feet: The chair may be restricting blood circulation. Try using a footrest or a chair with a downward-curving front edge.
    Did you Know?
    • The "save" icon on the Microsoft Word toolbar is a floppy disk, with the shutter on backwards.
    • There are 6,000 new computer viruses popping up each month!

    This fact sheet provides general information concerning the application of the federal youth employment provisions to grocery stores and supermarkets that employ workers under 18 years of age. For detailed information about the federal provisions, see Regulations, 29 CFR Part 570 located at

    The Department of Labor is committed to helping young workers find positive appropriate and safe employment experiences. The youth employment provisions of the FLSA were enacted to ensure that when young people work, the work does not jeopardize their health, well-being or educational opportunities. Working youth are generally entitled to the same minimum wage and overtime protections as older adults. For information about these requirements in the grocery store and supermarket industry, please see

    All states have their own youth employment provisions. When federal and state laws differ, the higher standard applies.

    Minimum Age Standards for Employment

    The FLSA and the youth employment regulations, issued at 29 CFR Part 570, establish both hours and occupational standards for youth. Youth of any age are generally permitted to work for businesses entirely owned by their parents, except those under 16 may not be employed in mining or manufacturing, and no one under 18 may be employed in any occupation the Secretary of Labor has declared to be hazardous.

    18 Years of Age

    Once a youth reaches 18 years of age, he or she is no longer subject to the federal youth employment provisions.

    16 & 17 Years of Age

    Sixteen- and 17-year-olds may be employed for unlimited hours in any occupation other than those declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor. Examples of equipment declared hazardous in grocery stores include power-driven meat processing machines (meat slicers, saws, patty forming machines, grinders, or choppers), forklifts, commercial mixers and certain power-driven bakery machines. Employees under 18 are not permitted to operate, feed, set up, adjust, repair, or clean such machines.

    Generally, no employee under 18 years of age may operate a forklift, drive a motor vehicle on a public road as part of his or her employment, or serve as an outside helper on a motor vehicle on a public road. Seventeen-year-olds who meet certain specific requirements, however, may drive automobiles and trucks that do not exceed 6,000 pounds gross vehicle weight for limited amounts of time as part of their job. Such minors are, however, prohibited from making time sensitive deliveries (such as deliveries of catered food or other trips where time is of essence) and from driving at night.

    Minors under 18 years of age may not operate or unload scrap paper balers or paper box compactors. Sixteen- and 17-year-olds may load such machines under certain specific circumstances.

    14 & 15 Years of Age

    Fourteen- and 15-year-olds may be employed in grocery stores and supermarkets outside school hours in a variety of jobs for limited periods of time and under specified conditions.

    Hours Standards for 14- and 15-Year-Olds

    Occupations Standards for 14- and 15-Year-Olds

    Child Labor Regulation No. 3, 29 CFR Part 570, Subpart C, limits the hours and the times of day that 14- and 15-year-olds may work:

    • outside school hours;
    • no more than 3 hours on a school day, including Fridays;
    • no more than 8 hours on a nonschool day;
    • no more than 18 hours during a week when school is in session;
    • no more than 40 hours during a week when school is not in session;
    • between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. - except between June 1 and Labor Day when the evening hour is extended to 9 p.m.

    Fourteen- and 15-year-olds may work in grocery stores and supermarkets, but only in certain jobs.

    • They may perform cashiering, shelf stocking, and the bagging and carrying out of customer orders.
    • They may perform clean-up work, including the use of vacuum cleaners and floor waxers.
    • They may perform limited cooking duties involving electric or gas grills that do not entail cooking over an open flame. They may also cook with deep fryers that are equipped with and utilize devices that automatically raise and lower the "baskets" into and out of the hot grease or oil. They may not operate NIECO broilers, rotisseries, pressure cookers or fryolators.
    • They may not perform any baking.
    • They may not operate, clean, set up, adjust, repair or oil power-driven machines, including food slicers, processors, or mixers.
    • They may clean kitchen surfaces and non-power-driven equipment, and filter, transport and dispose of cooking oil, but only when the temperature of the surfaces and oils does not exceed 100°F.
    • They may not operate power-driven lawn mowers or cutters or work in freezers or meat coolers.
    • They may not work in warehousing or load or unload goods to or from trucks or conveyors.
    • They are prohibited from working in any of the Hazardous Orders (discussed above for 16- and 17-year-olds.)

    Under 14 Years of Age

    Children under 14 years of age may not be employed in non-agricultural occupations covered by the FLSA, including grocery stores and supermarkets. Permissible employment for such children is limited to work that is exempt from the FLSA (such as delivering newspapers to the consumer and acting). Children may also perform work not covered by the FLSA such as completing minor chores around private homes or casual babysitting.

    Work Experience and Career Exploration Program (WECEP)

    WECEP is a program designed to provide a carefully planned work experience and career exploration program for 14- and 15-year-old youths who can benefit from a career oriented educational program designed to meet the participants' needs, interests and abilities. The program is aimed at helping youths to become reoriented and motivated toward education and to prepare them for the world of work.

    State Departments of Education are granted approval to operate a WECEP by the Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division for a two-year period. Certain provisions of youth employment provisions are modified for 14-and 15-year-old participants during the school term.

    • They may work during school hours.
    • They may work up to 3 hours on a school day; and as many as 23 hours in a school week.
    • They also may work in some occupations that would otherwise be prohibited under a variance issued by the Administrator, but they may not work in manufacturing, mining or any of the 17 Hazardous Occupations.

    Individual employers may partner with participating local school districts in those states authorized to operate WECEPs.

    Where to Obtain Additional Information

    For more information about the employment Standards that apply to young workers, call (866) 4US-WAGE. You can also visit

    For additional information on the Fair Labor Standards Act, visit the Wage and Hour Division Web site: and/or call (866) 4USWAGE.

    Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hours Division

    This publication is for general information and is not to be considered in the same light as official statements of position contained in the regulations.

    Risk Insights

    Employing Teens? Here's What the Fed Requires

    Each year, millions of teenagers take on part-time or summertime jobs. Early work experiences can be very rewarding, while at the same time provide teens with great opportunities to learn important work skills. If you're employing teens, the Department of Labor oversees the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) child labor provisions. This specifies the hours young workers can work, the jobs they may perform and the jobs that are designated too hazardous for them to perform. The Act's regulations are outlined below, along with additional steps you can take to keep young workers safe.

    Age Limitations by Type of Work


    Children age 13 and under are limited to the following types of jobs:

    • Delivering newspapers
    • Baby-sitting
    • Acting or performing in motion pictures, radio, television or theater
    • Working in businesses solely owned or operated by parents
    • Working on farms owned or operated by parents.

    When children reach age 14, the following types of jobs become acceptable:

    • Office
    • Grocery store
    • Retail store
    • Restaurant
    • Movie theater
    • Baseball park
    • Amusement park
    • Gasoline service station

    However, at age 14, these jobs are not allowed:

    • Communications or public utilities jobs
    • Construction or repair jobs
    • Driving a motor vehicle or helping a driver
    • Manufacturing and mining occupations
    • Power-driven machinery or hoisting apparatus other than typical office machines
    • Processing occupations
    • Public messenger jobs
    • Transporting of persons or property
    • Workrooms where products are manufactured, mined, or processed
    • Warehousing and storage
    • Any other job or occupation declared hazardous by the Department of Labor.

    At age 16, a teen may work in any job that has not been declared hazardous by the Department of Labor.

    Hazardous Occupations

    Hazardous occupations, as declared by the Department of Labor (not allowed for anyone under the age of 18), include:

    Once a person turns 18, he or she may work in any job for as many hours as desired. Child labor rules no longer apply.

    Work Hour Regulations by Age

    Under Age 12

    If a child is younger than 12, he or she may only work on farms, provided the farm is not required to pay the federal minimum wage. Only "small farms" are exempt from the minimum wage requirements. By definition, "small" means any farm that did not use more than 500 "man-days" of agricultural labor in any calendar quarter during the preceding calendar year. "Man-day" means any day during which an employee works at least one hour.

    If the farm is "small," workers under 12 years of age may be employed in non-hazardous jobs, but only during hours when school is not in session, and only with a parent's permission.

    Age 12 - 13

    If a child is 12 or 13 years of age, he or she may only work in agriculture on a farm if a parent has given written permission, or a parent is working on the same farm. Again, the work can only be performed during hours when school is not in session and in non-hazardous jobs.

    Age 14 - 15

    If a child is 14 or 15 years of age, he or she may work no more than:

    Additionally, they may work outside of school hours from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. The only exception is from June 1 through Labor Day, when 14- and 15-year olds may work until 9 p.m.

    Age 16 and Older

    If a worker is age 16 or older, he or she may work any day, any time of day, and for any number of hours. There are no restrictions on the work hours of children age 16 or older.

    Recommendations for Employers

    In addition to understanding labor laws, there are additional steps you can take to protect young workers:

    ü Recognize potential hazards

    ü Supervise young workers

    ü Provide training

    ü Use the buddy system

    ü Check equipment safety

    ü Develop an injury and illness prevention program

    Additional Resources

    For additional employee law assistance, online information is available from the U.S. Department of labor at:

    For more information on state child labor laws, visit or

    This Risk Insights is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional for appropriate advice.

    • Manufacturing and storing of explosives
    • Driving a motor vehicle and being an outside helper on a motor vehicle
    • Coal mining
    • Mining other than coal mining
    • Logging and saw milling
    • Power-driven woodworking machines
    • Exposure to radioactive substances
    • Power-driven hoisting apparatus
    • Power-driven metal forming, punching and shearing machines
    • Meat packing or processing (including the use of power-driven meat slicing machines)
    • Power-driven bakery machines
    • Power-driven paper-product machines
    • Manufacturing brick, tile and related products
    • Power-driven circular saws, band saws and guillotine shears
    • Wrecking demolition and ship-breaking operations
    • Roofing operations
    • Excavation operations
      • 3 hours per day on a school day, 18 hours in a school week,
      • 8 hours on a non-school day, and
      • 40 hours in non-school week.
      • Eliminate any issues present in your workplace that could injure a young worker
      • Make sure that equipment used by workers is safe and legal
      • Be certain that young workers are appropriately supervised at all times
      • Inform supervisors and adult workers of the tasks that teens should not perform
      • Make sure that young workers are appropriately supervised at all times
      • Label the equipment that teens cannot use, or color-code their uniforms so that others know they may not perform certain tasks
      • Periodically verify through supervisors that teens are obeying safety practices
      • Educate young workers to ensure that they recognize hazards and are competent regarding safe working practices
      • Training should include how to prepare for fires, accidents, violent situations and protocol for injuries. Teens need to know that they have a right to file a claim to cover their medical benefits and lost work time if they are injured
      • Have young workers demonstrate that they can perform assigned task safely and correctly
      • Implement a mentoring or buddy system for new young workers. Have either an adult or an experienced teen worker act as a buddy, and answer questions to help the inexperienced worker learn the ropes of the new job
      • Ensure that equipment used by teen workers is both legal and safe
      • Work with supervisors and experienced staff members to create a comprehensive safety program that includes an injury and illness prevention initiative
      • o Identify and solve safety and health problems that arise or typically have been an issue in the past

    Inventory "Shrinkage" Causes Retailers to Lose Billions

    Inventory "shrinkage" - a combination of employee dishonesty, shoplifting, vendor fraud and administrative error - is costing the nation's retailers a great deal of revenue.

    According to the University of Florida criminologist, Richard Hollinger, director of the National Retail Security Survey, the single largest larceny category occurs in retail stores. The survey found that the most significant source of inventory shrinkage is employee theft. More importantly, Insurance Journal claims that the most trusted employees-the ones who have been with the company for a significant period of time and who never miss a day of work-are typically the ones who steal from their employers. Retailers who experience the greatest employee-related thefts are supermarkets/grocery, shoe, electronic and discount stores.

    Methods Retailers Can Use to Protect Against Inventory Shrinkage

    Employer-Generated Solutions:

    Pre-employment screenings:

    • Past employment history
    • Criminal conviction checks
    • Personal reference checks
    • Drug screening
    • Driving history checks

    Employee awareness programs:

    • New hire orientation discussions
    • Bulletin/poster board notices
    • Anonymous phone hotlines
    • Follow up education
    • Newsletters
    • Payroll stuffers

    Asset control policies:

    • Refund control structures
    • "Void" receipt procedure
    • Employee Package checks
    • Trash removal controls
    • Inter-store transfer policy
    • Exit door controls

    Loss prevention systems:

    • Burglar alarms
    • Closed circuit TVs
    • Armored car pickups
    • Cables/locks/chains
    • Secured display fixtures
    • Electronic security tags
    • Shoplifting signs posted
    • Silent alarms
    • Observation mirrors


    Criminal Patterns

    Typically, employees do not steal from his/her employer once and then never do it again. Instead, employees steal small amounts over an extended period of time. When businesses finally discover the indiscretion, they have lost a significant amount of revenue.

    In addition, businesses generally do not discover that funds are lost until the economy takes a turn for the worst and the company examines why their revenue is not as they had expected. Only then, after questioning where the money went, do they notice that funds are missing.

    Smaller companies with fewer employees tend to be victimized more than larger companies. Not only are these smaller businesses uninsured to cover their losses, they've built up trust and developed relationships with their employees. So, they often are unsuspecting of the criminal activity and trust their employees too much. Larger companies also have the budget for audit committees and risk managers to assess any indiscretions immediately.

    Insurance Options

    Employee dishonesty insurance, also known as crime coverage, employee dishonesty bond, fidelity bond and crime fidelity insurance, offers employers protection from fraudulent acts committed by their employees. By purchasing this type of insurance, you are able to recover financial losses as a result of employee theft and robbery of the following:

    • Money
    • Securities
    • Computer fraud
    • Forgery
    • Funds transfer fraud
    • Credit card fraud
    • Money order and counterfeit fraud
    • Other valuable property

    Third Party Coverage

    If your company is doing business for another organization, employee dishonesty insurance may also cover the losses of that business as your client, depending on your plan.

    If you elect coverage that protects your client's property, the policy will cover the loss of money, securities and other property lost while working for that client.


    There are several exclusions to these types of policies that employers must be aware of:

    • Accounting errors
    • Income lost in the event that the theft had not occurred
    • Vandalism
    • Governmental seizure of property
    • Restatement or lost statement of profit
    • Theft by yourself-coverage does extend to partners, trustees and directors

    Don't become a victim of employee theft or shoplifting. Protect your business, your assets and your profits by obtaining employee dishonesty insurance. Contact us today to learn more about our value-added services.

    This Risk Insights is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional for appropriate advice.


    Avoiding Slips and Falls

    A janitorial helper was scrubbing the steps and floors with water and a cleaning agent. An observant worker realized that soon, dozens of people would be going down these steps to their coffee break. This person then took the proper action to avert this potentially dangerous situation and set up a wet floor sign.

    An unguarded wet floor is only one of the many causes that accounts for millions of work-related injuries every year. Which is why it is important to spot unsafe conditions that could lead to slips and falls, and do what you can to prevent them.

    There are various ways to suffer slips and falls while working. You can slip and lose your balance, you can trip over objects left improperly in your walkway, or you can simply fall from an elevated position to the ground. To avoid slips and falls, be on the lookout for foreign substances on the floor. Watch for deposits of water, food, grease, oil, sawdust, soap, or debris. Even small quantities are enough to make you fall.

    When entering a building from the outdoors or from debris areas, clean your footwear thoroughly. Snowy and rainy weather requires a doormat at each entrance to allow for complete wiping of shoes. Don't go too fast, walk safely, and avoid changing directions too sharply.

    Beware of tripping hazards. Trash, unused materials, or any object left in the aisles designed for pedestrian traffic invites falls. Extension cords, tools, carts, and other items should be removed or properly barricaded off. If equipment or supplies are left in walkways, report it. Let the proper personnel remove it. And keep passageways clean of debris by using trash barrels.

    Walk where you are supposed to walk. Short cuts through machine areas invite accidents. Concentrate on where you are going - horseplay and inattention leaves you vulnerable to unsafe conditions. Hold on to handrails when using stairs or ramps. They are there to protect you should a fall occur. If you're carrying a heavy load that hampers your ability to properly ascend or descend stairs, use the elevator, or find help!

    The worst falls are from elevated positions like ladders and scaffolding. They result in serious injuries and death. Learn and practice ladder safety and the proper use of scaffolding. For example, when climbing, use a ladder of proper length that is in good condition. Keep it placed on a firm surface. Do not climb a ladder placed on machinery, crates, stock or boxes. Keep the ladder's base one foot away from the wall for every four feet of height. Don't over-reach. Always have control of your balance when working from a ladder. Never climb a ladder with your hands full, and always carry tools in their proper carrying devices.

    When using scaffolding, be sure it is properly assembled according to the manufacturer's specifications. Check carefully for defects. Standing and working planks should be level and clean. Use toe boards to prevent tools from falling and workers from slipping. Work only with people who practice proper scaffolding safety.

    Slips and falls occur every day. The extent of injuries and their recurrence can be minimized through proper safety knowledge and attitudes.

    Serve Up a Safe Salad Bar:
    Prep, setup and meal time safety

    A salad bar is not only a healthy option for patrons, customers can select what they like and hopefully enjoy it so much that they return again and again. When offering a salad bar in your restaurant, you must exercise extreme caution and always put safety first to avoid cross contamination. This begins during prep time and continues until the salad bar is closed for business.

    During Prep Work

    Before putting ingredients out, wash them thoroughly under running water. Then, use only certain knives and cutting boards to slice and dice the fruits and vegetables you will offer. Make sure that the utensils used are only for these products.

    • Use separate utensils and cutting boards for meat, poultry and other items containing animal byproducts.
    • If you are offering soups, meats and seafood at the salad bar, cook these at the proper temperatures as outlined by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

    During Setup

    Once the food is cooked, begin to place it in the salad bar. To protect foods, ensure sneeze guards or food shields are place and clean.

    • Place long-handled spoons and tongs into the foods for patrons to serve themselves. Replace these items at least every four hours.
    • Label all foods and dressings properly so that patrons will avoid tasting to identify what the items are.
    • Avoid setting up earlier than necessary. If foods sit out too long, they will spoil.

    During Meal Time

    To prevent foodborne illnesses, the foods must be kept at specific temperatures. For instance, hot items must be kept at 140 degrees Fahrenheit and cold items must be kept at 41 degrees Fahrenheit.

    • Check food temperatures with a thermometer every two hours to assure that they are still safe to eat.
    • Keep your eyes on the clock with regard to egg and meat products, cooked foods and foods containing mayonnaise. These items spoil quickly and should not be kept out for more than four hours.
    • Encourage patrons to use new plates when they return for multiple helpings.
    • Clean up spills and soils immediately.
    • Replenish food frequently, and never place fresh foods in the same containers as foods that have been sitting.