Annex I of NR17 – Work of the Checkout Operators

1 Objective and Scope

1.1 This standard aims to establish the minimum guidelines and the parameters for the adequacy of working conditions of the checkout operators, in order to prevent health and safety problems related to the work.

1.2 This Standard applies to the employers who develop commercial activity using self-service and checkout systems, such as supermarkets, hypermarkets and wholesale trade.

2 The work station

2.1 In relation to the checkout furniture and their dimensions, including distances and heights, the work station shall:

a) meet anthropometric characteristics of 90% of the workers, respecting the range of the limbs and vision, in other words, making the vision area compatible with handling task;

b) ensure working posture in a sitting and standing position, and the comfortable position of the upper and lower limbs in these two situations;

c) respect the angle limits and natural trajectories of movements during the execution of the task, avoiding bending and twisting of the torso;

d) ensure adequate space for free movement of the operator and placement of the chair in order to allow rotation between standing and sitting positions;

e) have a work chair with seat and backrest for lumbar support, with padding of appropriate density, adjustable to the stature of the worker and the nature of the task;

f) have a footrest, independent from the chair;

g) adopt an electromechanical conveyor system with a length of 2.70 meters or more for each work station in order to facilitate the movement of goods in the checkouts;

h) provide a communication system with support and supervising personnel;

i) keep the furniture without sharp edges or burrs, and the fastening elements (nails, rivets, screws) shall be maintained so as not to cause accidents.

2.2 The equipments and tools used by the checkout operators to fulfill their job shall:

a) be chosen so as to favor the movements and actions, without accentuated requirement of force, pressure, gripping, flexion, extension or twisting of the body segments;

b) be positioned within reaching limits of the operator, allowing the movement of upper and lower limbs and respecting the nature of the task;

c) ensure protection against mechanical or electrical accidents, on the basis of regulatory standards or technically recognized national standards;

d) be kept in good operating conditions.

2.3 In relation to physical working environment and the whole work station:

a) the conditions of luminance, noise, thermal comfort, as well as protection against other chemical and physical risk factors shall be maintained according to provisions in NR17 and other regulatory standards;

b) checkout operators shall be protected against currents of air, wind or climatic variations, when necessary;

c) opaque surfaces that prevent troublesome reflections in the worker’s visual field shall be used.

2.4 The design of the work station shall provide the possibility of making adjustments or settings, except in fixed appliances, considering the comfort of the operators.

3 The handling of goods

3.1 The employer shall make efforts to ensure that the handling of goods does not involve the use of excessive muscular force by the checkout operators, through the adoption of one or more of the following:

a) using the size and volume of packages from the suppliers

b) using of equipments and instruments of adequate technology;

c) alternative forms of decoding the bar-codes with optical reader, if any;

d) availability of auxiliary personnel, when necessary;

e) other measures that help reduce the workload of the operator in handling goods.

3.2 The employer shall adopt auxiliary mechanisms whenever there is a limitation for manual execution of tasks by the checkout operators, due to the large volume or overweight of goods.

3.3 The employer shall take measures to prevent that the activity of bagging of goods is incorporated into ordinary and usual work cycle of checkout operators, such as:

a) maintain at least one bagger for each three checkouts in operation;

b) provide conditions that facilitates bagging by customers;

c) other measures that are for the same purpose.

3.3.1 The choice among the measures listed in item 3.3 is up to the employer.

3.4 The checkout operators can weigh the goods only when the following requirements are met simultaneously:

a) scale frontally located and next to the operator

b) scale leveled with the surface of the checkout;

c) continuity between the surfaces of the checkout and the scale. Discontinuity up to two centimeters on each side the scale is accepted;

d) keyboard located at a maximum distance of 45 centimeters from the inner edge of the checkout;

e) maximum eight digits for the codes of goods that are weighed.

3.5 For the attendance of elderly people, pregnant women, disabled people, or who has some kind of momentary disability, the company shall provide auxiliary personnel whenever the operator requests.

4 The organization of work

4.1 The physical disposition and the number of active (open) checkouts and the operators shall be compatible with the flow of customers so as to adjust the pace of work to the psycho-physiological characteristics of each operator, through the adoption of at least one of the following items, the choice is up to the company:

a) people to support or replace, when necessary;

b) single lines for checkouts;

c) special checkouts (elderly, pregnant and disabled people, and customers with small quantities of goods;

d) breaks throughout the workday;

e) rotation between the checkout operators with different characteristics;;

f) other measures that help maintain proper movement without overloading the checkout operator.

4.2 The operators can leave the work stations, upon notice, at any time of the day, to meet their physiological needs, except for the meal break provided in the Consolidation of Labor Laws.

4.3 It is forbidden to promote any performance evaluation system for the purposes of payment or reward, based on the number of goods or purchases by the operator.

4.4 It is the responsibility of the checkout operator to examine the goods delivered, any property security task is forbidden.

5 The psychosocial aspects of work

5.1 All workers involved with the work in checkout shall carry a visible identification card with name and/or surname, chosen by the worker himself.

5.2 It is forbidden to compel the employee to use, permanent or temporary, garments or advertisements or thematic makeup, causing embarrassment or hurt their personal dignity.

6 Information and training for workers

6.1 All workers involved with the work in checkouts shall receive training, which aims to raise awareness of the relationship between their work and the promotion of health.

6.2 The training shall contain the notions of prevention and risk factors for health, arising from the work in checkout, considering the aspects related to:

a) work station;

b) handling of goods;

c) organization of work;

d) psychosocial aspects of work;

e) health problems most commonly found among checkout operators.

6.2.1 Each employee shall receive at least two hours of training, before the thirtieth day after the admission, and at least two hours of annual refresher training, which is taught during workday.

6.3 Employees shall be informed in advance about changes that may occur in the work process.

6.4 The training shall obligatorily include the teaching materials about the topics listed in item 6.2 and its paragraphs.

6.5 The form of training (continuous or intermittent, in-person or distant, through lectures, courses or audiovisual) is at the discretion of each company.

6.6 The preparation of technical content and evaluation of training shall include the participation of members of Specialized Services in Occupational Safety and Health (SESMT), and Internal Commission for Accident Prevention (CIPA), if any, the coordinator of the Occupational Health Examination Program (PCMSO) and the responsible person for development and implementation of the Environmental Risk Prevention Program (PPRA).

7 Temporary Provisions

7.1 The obligations under this Annex shall be demanded after the following deadlines:

7.1.1 For sub-items 1.1; 1.2; 3.2; 3.5; 4.2; 4.3 and 4.4, within ninety days..

7.1.2 For sub-items 2.1 “h”; 2.2 “c” and “d”; 2.3 “a” and “b”; 3.1 and its paragraphs; 4.1 and its paragraphs; 5.1; 5.2; and 6.3, within one hundred and eighty days.

7.1.3 For sub-items 2.1 “e” and “f”; 3.3 “a”, “b” and “c”; 3.3.1; 6.1; 6.2 and its paragraphs; 6.2.1; 6.4; 6.5 and 6.6, within a year.

7.1.4 For sub-items 2.1 “a”, “b”, “c”, “d”, “g” and “i”; 2.2 “a” and “b”; 2.3 “c”; 2.4 and 3.4 and its paragraphs, according to following schedule;

a) January 2008 – all new stores or those subject to reforms;

b) Until July 2009 – 15% of stores;

c) Until December 2009 – 35% of stores;

d) Until December 2010 – 65% of stores;

e) Until December 2011 – all stores.