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Workplace design for a cutting machine operator suffering from epilepsy in the maintenance


The company produces beverage cans.

Disability and functional restrictions:

The man is suffering from epilepsy and the disease leads to seizures with confusion for several minutes. For safety reasons, injury from running machines must be ruled out when performing the activity. Given the rarity of the seizures and the existing physical and mental performance, without medication side effects, the man is otherwise able to do the job of a cutting machine operator full time without endangering himself or others.

Training and job:

The man works as a trained cutting machine operator or lathe operator at the company.

Workplace and duties:

The cutting machine operator works in the company's maintenance department, which is located in a workshop or workshop. In addition to several employees who maintain and repair the systems in production, he and two to three other employees are part of the department's permanent staff. In addition to some material cupboards, there is a conventional lathe, a milling machine and a lathe converted as a roller grinding machine. So far, the cutting machine operator has operated these three machines, working most of the time on the actual lathe. According to a risk assessment carried out with the support of a technical consultant from the Integration or Inclusion Office, there is basically a risk potential with regard to the available seizure possibility on all three machines. This danger can be limited on the roller grinding machine, since only a radial infeed occurs during processing and thus a shielding option can be implemented.
The risk of working with the milling machine is high or low, depending on the machining process. However, special attention is paid to the main workplace, the actual lathe. The workpieces to be machined have a maximum diameter of approx. 80 mm, with lengths up to 2 m. A typical job is e.g. B. the renewal of a certain intercept. For this purpose, the axis must be turned off at this point, a matching bushing made on the lathe from raw material and after this bushing has been shrunk on, the axis must be turned off again to the desired size at this corresponding point. A computer-controlled lathe (CNC lathe) can only be used to a limited extent in these operations.

The roller grinder could be secured by an additional protective hood so that the remaining risk is only minimal. In addition, the vertically inserted and thus protruding grip bolts were removed from the handwheels so that they do not cause injuries in the event of a fall. The milling machine was set up higher so that, in the event of a seizure, the cutting mechanic prefers to slide down and not fall into the machining process. The height of the lineup was based on his height. The same was true for the handwheels of the milling machine as for the roller grinding machine. The existing lathe was replaced by a new one with a protective hood that can be pulled from the chuck to the tool slide and has a contact switch. The contact switch is coupled to the slide of the lathe, so that machining is only possible when the protective hood is closed. The height of the line-up was also based on the height of the cutting machine operator. As personal protective equipment, he now wears a suitable protective cap to avoid head injuries in the event of an attack or fall. The use of a personal monitoring system, coupled with the machine operated by the operator, can now trigger the immediate stop of the respective machine in the event of a seizure. If there is a fall, it can be dampened with a work mat.

Assistive devices used:

Personal alarm systems
Workplace mats
Tools for carrying and gripping workpieces and tools (handwheels)
head protection

Support and participation:

The lathe was 50 percent and the remaining costs were funded 100 percent by the Integration or Inclusion Office. The advice was provided by the technical advice service of the integration or inclusion office.



  • metal working /
  • lathe operator /
  • seizure /
  • lathe /
  • milling machine /
  • grinding machine /
  • machine /
  • machine operation /
  • machine work /
  • machine operator /
  • protective hood /
  • mat /
  • head protection /
  • emergency alarm system /
  • emergency /
  • prevention of accidents /
  • risk of accident /
  • danger of falling /
  • safety /
  • capacity /
  • CNC /
  • handwheel /
  • operating control /
  • working equipment /
  • work task /
  • employment /
  • participation in working life /
  • participation /
  • full-time job /
  • employer /
  • employee /
  • vocational rehabilitation /
  • brain /
  • personal protection equipment /
  • EASTIN /
  • risk assessment /
  • environmental influences, safety and loads /
  • brain damage /
  • metal /
  • office for vocational integration /
  • epilepsy /
  • industry /
  • maintenance /
  • psychological resilience /
  • body load /
  • workplace design /
  • industrial safety /
  • technical advice /
  • assistive product

update status: 17.06.2019

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