How to Make Back-of-House Retail Storage More Ergonomic

Posted on: 12 May 2022

Storing products onsite is the key to many retail environments, small and large alike. Small stores need to restock quickly when the shelves empty, while large stores can experience overturn multiple times a day or week on particular products. Yet the need to store products in a limited amount of back-of-house space shouldn't sacrifice ergonomic principles. Designing retail storage solutions with worker ergonomics in mind will prevent repetitive strain injuries and help products flow more smoothly out to the displays on the retail floor.

Use Rolling Carts

Rolling carts work to organize the back rooms of all kinds of retail stores, regardless of the size of the products or what packaging they're shipped in. These carts allow workers to rearrange the stock as needed for quicker movement to the floor, and depending on the layout of your retail environment, the carts may fit on the floor for faster stocking. Shelving units, bins, and pallet carts all fit well on rolling bases so you can get more movement in the product storage area without risking back strain or injury.

Minimize Storage Near the Floor

When selecting shelves and carts for the back-of-house area in a retail store, look for raised platforms that don't require workers to bend all the way to the floor. Sacrificing the storage space offered by a bottom shelf or two will more than reward you with reduced injury claims from your workers. Stock that is stored on low shelves tends to be overlooked, even when searching for the last few items to fill out an empty shelf. Keep items up within easy grasp and near the eye line whenever possible so workers can quickly scan what's available and locate specific items.

Add Wider Aisles for Bending and Lifting

Workers need plenty of space to use ergonomic lifting, bending, and sorting positions. Requiring them to work in cramped product storage areas only increases the likelihood of strain or injury. If you have a limited amount of space in the back of the store for storage, try renting a separate product storage facility nearby. Leaving more space in the onsite storage area will improve worker morale and encourage better ergonomics while stocking.

Invest in Pull Bins

For small items that need to be restocked daily, try pull bins that make it easier to sort and carry items where they're needed. These bins can be used all the way from remote storage units so that items don't become mixed after sorting. Pull bins serve double duty when it comes time to pull stock off of the shelves for expiration auditing as well.