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Workplace layout for three severely disabled workers in a production area


The company (number of employees 319) manufactures plastic pipes and systems for drinking water and heating installations.

1. Disabled man:

Disability and functional limitation:

He is mentally disabled. His degree of disability is 50 (GdB 50).

Training and job:

He has no formal training. He has worked for 12 years as a production assistant for his employer.

Workplace and duties (actual status):

He packs elements for underfloor heating systems into boxes and after wrapping them with stretch plastic he stacks them onto flat pallets. Manual stacking of the up to 15 kg in weight and extremely bulky boxes (up to three pieces) is a great strain and requires much movement over his head as well as constant bending movements. By automating the packing and stretch procedures areas of activity at this workplace disappear, so that a new work procedure with in part new work steps arises.

2. Disabled man:

Disability and functional limitation:

He suffers from loss of use of the right arm, limitation of movement of the right ankle joint and head as well as spinal disease with shoulder stiffness. His degree of disability is 50 (GdB 50).

Training and job:

He is a trained draughtsman. He has worked for 12 years in the storeroom and as a forklift driver for his employer.

Workplace and duties (actual status):

For some time he has not been able to manage the physically heavy work in the storeroom. He therefore mainly drives the forklift in the storage area. With the help of this forklift he stores the up to 1500 kg heavy drums in the up to 6.5 m high shelves. Because of his limited movement he can no longer work as a forklift driver.

3. Disabled man:

Disability and functional limitation:

He suffers from chronic bowel disease with partial loss of the large bowel, spinal disease following a lumbar disc operation, knee joint damage and bronchial asthma. His degree of disability is 80 (GdB 80).

Training and job:

He is a trained electrician. He has worked for his employer for five years as a machine operator.

Workplace and duties (actual status):

He works as a machine operator in a three shift operation. The overseeing of a large area of the spread out production operation requires constant standing and walking, as only with constant control patrols can disturbances in the manufacturing course be recognised. Small disturbances are sorted out by the operators themselves. For this they often have to climb onto the machines or climb inside the systems. When changing defective parts under extreme time pressure they are susceptible to heavy physical work. This activity and the constant stress due to time pressure stresses them greatly so that it is necessary to move them to a more suitable workplace.

Workplace and duties (desired status):

The three workers should be moved to a newly organised workplace. Here, in a three shift operation they should place cartons with flooring elements onto a rollway and transport them through a contracted tunnel. The stretched cartons reach the storage area in an adjacent hall via a congestion rollway where they are taken and stacked up to three times on top of each other onto flat pallets. The removal of these pallets and the storage in the shelves is also part of their new duties.
In order to enable them to carry out their activities at this workplace, rollways must be installed in front of the contracted tunnel (for placing the boxes) and manual equipment ( for stacking the boxes) at the end of the rollway of the storeroom. Fully automatic equipment is planned in front of the contracted tunnel for placing the prepared boxes on the pallets and removing the empty pallets to the storeroom. The equipment for stacking the folded boxes is operated manually. For placing, removing and delivering each flat pallet a shaft operated forklift with high lift option system, side pusher and adjustable fork is needed. With the use of these technical aids the three no longer have to lift and carry loads.

Technical aids:

- fully automatic equipment for handling boxes and pallets
- manual equipment with ergonomic operating elememt
- electric-shaft lift with special features
- setting up the system and equipping the escalator material and wages, Own contribution

Assistive devices used:

hand operated lifting trucks
powered industrial vehicles used to lift and transport materials
manipulators and weight balancers


The disabled-friendly layout was 80% supported by the Main Welfare Office.



  • organisation /
  • physical disability /
  • stress /
  • forced posture /
  • handling /
  • production assistant /
  • storeman /
  • balancer /
  • manipulator /
  • handling device /
  • positioning aid /
  • lifting tool /
  • transport /
  • material /
  • material transport /
  • transport aid /
  • transport device /
  • transport vehicle /
  • roller conveyor /
  • conveyer /
  • fork-lift truck /
  • pallet lifting truck /
  • fork-lift truck /
  • fork-lift truck /
  • lift truck /
  • lifting device /
  • lifting aid /
  • shift work /
  • working hours /
  • working equipment /
  • work task /
  • storage /
  • overhead work /
  • assistance /
  • time-pressure /
  • employment /
  • participation in working life /
  • participation /
  • full-time job /
  • employer /
  • employee /
  • vocational rehabilitation /
  • respiratory system /
  • intestine /
  • shoulder /
  • arm /
  • knee /
  • foot /
  • spine /
  • joint /
  • EASTIN /
  • internal disease /
  • transport, trade and logistics /
  • handling and transport /
  • body posture and body part movement /
  • learning and knowledge application /
  • mobility and locomotion /
  • environmental influences, safety and loads /
  • office for vocational integration /
  • walking impairment /
  • intellectual disability /
  • back illness /
  • foot impairment /
  • intestinal disease /
  • Crohn's Disease /
  • lesion of knee joint /
  • respiratory disease /
  • asthma /
  • arthropathy /
  • shoulder-arm syndrome /
  • industry /
  • storage /
  • plastic technology /
  • logistics /
  • gripping /
  • holding /
  • body posture /
  • standing /
  • walking /
  • lifting /
  • carrying /
  • mental work /
  • reaching area /
  • body load /
  • shoulder arm movement /
  • bending /
  • perception /
  • squat /
  • kneel /
  • workplace design /
  • work organisation /
  • technical advice /
  • assistive product

update status: 02.03.2007

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