Checklist for better ergonomics in the ware washing area

The ware washing area is the part of the restaurant where the risk of injuries is particularly high - especially if staff is still washing pots and pans in sinks or pre-washing. By following the below checklist, you can identify your operation’s ergonomic risk factors, and start working on lowering them!

Heavy manual labor and repetitive work with a lot of lifting and carrying still occur in a lot of industries. In health care, building, and construction but of course also in HORECA and in the food industry.

“Repetitive work should normally never have to occur”

The Swedish Work Environment Authority (Arbetsmiljöverket) has issued a law aiming to reduce injuries from incorrect or inappropriate loads and strain on the body (Belastningsergonomi (AFS 2012:2)). According to the new regulations, repetitive work, as well as monotonous and tied up work should normally not have to occur. And if it cannot be completely avoided, the risks of injuries must be prevented through work rotation, work extension, breaks, supportive technology, or other measures that increase the variety of work.

A great law that hopefully more countries will follow. It’s a great opportunity to find and improve ergonomics, and prevent injuries in the washing area and the whole kitchen.

Carl-Philip Åkesson - Country Sales Manager Nordics, Nor:disk Clean Solutions
Quote Images Carl Philip Akesson

Manual washing and pre-washing in sinks is still the most common way to wash pots and pans globally. A great and unnecessary ergonomic risk for the staff, with a lot of repetitive and hand-intensive tasks.

Ulrika Ahnfelt Gran - Product Information Specialist, Nor:disk Clean Solutions
Quote Images Ulrika Ahnfelt Gran 1

Checklist for better ergonomics

Quick-guide to identify risks in your ware washing area

We have made this list as a helping guide for you to use when identifying some of the most crucial risks, so you can make an action plan to abolish them.
(Inspired by the new Swedish law (Belastningsergonomi (AFS 2012:2)).


1. Is the floor:
a.) uneven, hard to stand on, or slippery? 
b) are there thresholds, level differences, or other obstacles?

2. Is the space limiting the natural range of motion required for the task? 

3. Is the working height poorly adapted to the task and/or body size of the person performing the task?

4. Is there a place to sit if employees need to rest?

5. Is the staff’s back repeatedly or for a long period kept:
a.) bent forward, backward, or sideways?
b.) twisted?

6. Is the staff’s necks repeatedly or for a long period kept: 
a.) bent forward, backward, or sideways?
b.) twisted?
c.) simultaneously bent and twisted?

7. Does repetitive work involving the forearm and hand occur with:
a.) rotational movements?
b.) static grip?
c.) uncomfortable grips

8. Is there long-term or recurring work with:
a.) repetition of the same work movements?
b.) with repetition of the same work movements outside convenient reach?

9. Is there access to technology that could improve ergonomics in the ware washing area?
Technology could be a salvation for the staff and prevent injuries and strains on the body. Innovations like Granule Technology™ from Granuldisk lets the Granules make the hard work inside the machine and minimizes the ergonomic risks and repetitive work. Receive clean and sanitized ware washing results as well as healthier ware washing staff.

Guy operating machine in a tight space

Evaluate and set goals

Above is not a complete list of all ergonomic aspects, but a guide to get you started. Now it’s time to evaluate your findings and start to address the most crucial risk factors. Feel free to contact us if you need any help around the ware washing area.

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