|M.Sc Thesis||Department of Architecture and Town Planning|
|Supervisor:||Dr. Lifshitz Yair|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
The design of checkout workstations has been the focus of many studies in the past few years. Checkout workstation operation exposes cashiers to ergonomic risk factors, which lead to cumulative physical disorders, mostly in the upper extremities.
Scanning is a central task in the cashier’s work, and is primarily characterized by high repetition and force. Repetition cannot be easily reduced in checkout workstations without compromising productivity. However, the force required may be reduced by various methods, Including reducing loads and closer to the body work.
The bi-optic scanner is assumed to be the most advanced of all checkout scanners, with perceived advantages both in terms of ergonomic benefits (including reduced product lifting) and in terms of productivity. Nonetheless, in practice, cashiers also tend to lift the products, rather than sweep the products they handle with the bi-optic scanners.
The intent of this study was to compare the use of a bi-optic scanner with a mobile scanner in terms of their ability to reduce the potential risk of CTDs. The experiment was conducted in several supermarket branches with identical, front facing checkouts during a normal work shift of 15 female cashier subjects.
This study evaluated three hypotheses and assigned objective measures for each hypothesis:
The first hypothesis proposed that the use of a mobile scanner reduces the rate of products lifted for scanning. The results showed that the use of the mobile scanner considerably and significantly reduced (by approximately 25%) the rate of products lifted for scanning.
The second hypothesis proposed that the use of a mobile scanner would promote closer-to-the-body work on the part of the cashier. The results indicated that the use of the mobile scanner significantly promoted work closer to the body. 46.9% of the products were handled close to the body with the mobile scanner, as opposed to 0.2% with the bi-optic scanner.
The third hypothesis proposed that the use of a mobile scanner would reduce production. However, no significant differences in productivity were observed between the two scanner types.
A subjective questionnaire revealed a significant preference for the bi-optic scanner.
In this study, the use of a mobile scanner was shown to potentially reduce the risk of CTDs among cashiers with no adverse effect on production. It also seems that the mobile scanner can provide an ergonomic solution in a variety of checkout workstations of different designs, regardless of its relative location.