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Grocery store worker - general

Back of house grocery store worker, responsible for stock handling at the rear of store, and merchandising (stocking of shelves in store). Includes nightfill and general grocery worker.

Tasks and tools used

  • Stock handling: Size of store determined the number of deliveries of stock per week. Multiple pallets of goods are delivered by truck and shifted by forklift to rear of stock and the shelves in the store room/cool room.
  • Pallets are then handled by pallet jack to break down loads to relevant aisles where stock is manually placed on the shelves.

Critical physical job demands and other task requirements

Critical job
demand descriptor

% of time the
task is performed




Reaching in front of body to stock shelves, gross handling of various shaped items with fingers/hands.



Static standing, stooping and bending to handle low stock, walking, climbing and balancing on step ladders, reaching overhead, lifting 1-15kgs, lifting overhead, looking overhead at higher shelves.



Twisting trunk, backward bending to reach higher shelves, squatting, pushing, pulling, head down and head rotated tasks.




Suitable duties

  • goals must be clear, realistic and achievable
  • must have 'buy-in' from the worker
  • worker helps to set the goals, and must be answerable if goals are not met (this allows barriers to return to work to be identified at an early stage and obstacles overcome)
  • workers need to understand they have an obligation to participate in rehabilitation and return to work as per Section 232 of the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (the Act).

Return to work suggestions

Worker can begin with light duties and include more tasks as their capacity for work changes. We'll work with all parties, including the treating medical provider, employer and worker to ensure everyone is aware of where the worker is with their rehabilitation and stay at, or return to work.

Note: some tasks are dependent on worker's injury and capacity, and some tasks may require the assistance of a co-worker.


Return to work can begin at home for those having difficulty with transport, medication or the injury prevents them from returning to work.

If the worker needs to take a break from work, their rehabilitation can still begin at home. Tasks can include:

  • video on safety issues can be viewed (lying in bed if injury type requires)
  • computer-based programs, CDs or DVD on work-related subjects
  • phone-based work
  • emails
  • training
  • other worksite inductions
  • checking or auditing paperwork, e.g. helping the WHSO audit lost time injuries (LTI's) for a six month period.

Host employment

In the event an employer is unable to provide suitable duties, a host placement may be required. If this is the case, the worker may be placed at a different employer in a graduated return to work plan until they're able to 'upgrade' back to his/her pre-injury role with their pre-injury employer.

WorkCover's Recover at Work program places injured workers in short term host employment with employers who have an established track record of successful return to work outcomes with their own workers.

More return to work resources