Retail ergonomics: CPD quiz

Life-long learning and continuing professional development (CPD) are the processes by which professionals, such as nurses, develop and improve their practice.

There are many ways to address your CPD: formally, by attending courses, study days and workshops; or informally, through private study and reflection.

Reading articles in professional journals is a good way of keeping up to date with what is going on in the field of practice, but reflecting on what you have learned from the articles is not always easy.

These questions are designed to help you identify what you have learned from studying the article. They will also help you to clarify what you can apply in practice, what you did not understand, and what you need to explore further.

1 What percentage of the total workforce is employed in the retail sector?

a) 1%

b) 11%

c) 33%

d) 60%

2 Why are slips and trips so common in the retail industry?

a) Public access

b) Uneven surfaces

c) Slippery floors due to spillage

d) Loading and unloading stock

3 Ergonomics is a discipline that aims to improve total system effectiveness by ensuring people are:

a) Honest, reliable and trustworthy

b) At work and not off sick

c) Trained and equipped for the job

d) Safe, comfortable and productive

4 Which of the following is NOT one of the three elements of an ergonomic approach?

a) Statistical analysis

b) Focus on tasks

c) Recognise individual difference

d) Adopt a systems approach

5 What visual factors should be considered when reading displays?

a) Image size, colour, distance

b) Image size, distance, contrast

c) Colour, contrast, distance

d) Image size, colour, contrast

6 Which is the busiest day for internet shopping?

a) Sunday

b) Bank holiday Mondays

c) Christmas day

d) Saturdays

7 What is the name of the new Health and Safety Executive (HSE) tool for assessing repetitive tasks?

a) MAC



d) ART

8 What are likely to be the hazards for staff of self-service systems for customers?

a) Psychosocial issues from dealing with disgruntled customers

b) Physical hazards of dealing with several machines at once

c) Mechanical hazards from the machines themselves

d) Repetitive strain injury (RSI) due to saying the same thing several times a day

9 What is the biggest risk factor for checkout workers?

a) Repetitive strain injury

b) Shift patterns and work rate

c) Visual fatigue

d) Abusive customers

10 According to this article, which of the following is NOT a factor retail companies need to remember?

a) Great service comes from friendly and efficient staff

b) Good design empowers staff and enhances their wellbeing

c) Honest, reliable and trustworthy staff improve customer service

d) Bad design/technology reduces staff wellbeing and destroys customer service


1. b – You can find out a lot about employment statistics by visiting, much of which is very useful when doing projects or research.

2. c – Revise your knowledge of accident causation and spend some time looking at the HSE resources available for slips and trips

3. d – Of course d is what ergonomics aims to ensure, but within that b and c would also occur.

4. a – although without statistics and the ability to analyse them ergonomics would not be an evidence-based profession.

5. b

6. c – Consider the implications for employees of internet-based retail companies if times such as Christmas day are the busiest period.

7. d – ART is mentioned in the text but all these acronyms relate to tools available from the HSE website. If you have not viewed them take some time to explore them and consider whether they would be useful in your area of practice.

8. a

9. b – Explore some of the resources to find out more information about how work patterns and shift work affect health.

10. c

Online resources on retail ergonomics to help with your research and educational needs

A whole section of the HSE website is dedicated to slips and trips. It is worth exploring this site for more information, including the following: This is a link to the HSE e-learning package called Step, which stands for the Slips and Trips E-learning Package. Undertaking this e-learning course will contribute to your Continuing Professional Development. Step includes easy-to-follow guidance, case studies, videos, animations and quizzes. These are designed to give you the information you need to set up and maintain a safer way of working. This section of the HSE website focuses on the human factors and ergonomic issues in the workplace, and is well worth exploring for more information and guidance. The labour market statistics contain the latest data for employment, economic activity, economic inactivity, unemployment, claimant count, average earnings, productivity, unit wage costs, vacancies, and labour disputes.

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