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Risks of Being a Cashier

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By 2018, there are expected to be more than 3.6 million cashier jobs in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Cashiers are employed in various outlets such as supermarkets, grocery stores, gasoline stations, department stores, movie theaters and other retail establishments. Cashiers also are employed in banks though their role is slightly different than that of cashiers who work in places that sell other products and services. The nature of the work involves billing, receiving payments, handing over the right change and receipts, and tallying the money in the till. Cashiers also handle checks and credit card payments.

Shortfall in Receipts

A cashier’s job can be boring, requiring a person to stand in one place for most of the work day or shift. The job centers on receiving payment, making change, processing credit card payments and printing receipts. A cashier who is tired or bored may end up handing out too much money in change, ending with a shortfall in the day’s takings. When this happens, it is the cashier’s job to either reconcile the accounts correctly or make good on the missing money.


Cashiers are under the constant threat of being robbed because they handle money. Cashiers who try to be heroic and save the money may end up getting hurt or worse, killed. It is recommended that a cashier under attack hand over the money immediately, and when the assailant leaves, call 9-1-1 for assistance. Cashiers need to be observant to be able to provide accurate information to the police should their establishment be robbed.


Cashiers who work in banks, filling stations and grocery stores are at risk of robbery-turned-homicide crimes. These institutions are high on the target list for many criminals -- banks attract high-end criminals and filling stations and grocery stores are targets for petty criminals. A cashier often is in the line of fire when a robbery happens. It is the employer’s responsibility to provide sufficient security and training for the cashiers about how to handle robberies.


Apart from the safety risks, cashiers face a variety of health risks that include swollen feet, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shoulder pain, neck pain and sleep problems due to working different shifts. They also may have problems structuring meal times and controlling their weight. Repetitive movements in handling products and using the cash register are the main causes of hand and wrist pain. Standing all day at the workstation can cause the swollen feet, painful legs and low back pain.


Frank Howard has been a professional writer for more than 20 years, working with Metro Publications and Penguin Group. He is now part of the Metro Publications creative team, where he creates fictional stories for kids. Howard has a master's degree in creative writing from City University London and bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Leeds.

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