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Deutsche Post DHL Group - adaptation of vehicles for deliverer with disability of the locomotor apparatus

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Deutsche Post DHL Group, with more than €56 billion in revenue in 2014, is the largest postal services provider in Europe and the world's leading logistics Group. The Deutsche Post and DHL corporate brands stand for a one-of-a-kind portfolio of logistics (DHL) and communication services (Deutsche Post). The Group provides its customers with both easy-to-use standardized products as well as innovative and tailored solutions ranging from dialogue marketing to industrial supply chains. More than 480,000 employees in more than 220 countries and territories form a global network focused on service, quality and sustainability.

1. Employee:

Disability and functional limitation:
He has had an absent right hand since birth. He does not use a prosthesis. Because he is one-handed his area of reach and manipulation of loads is restricted. His degree of disability is 60.

Training and job:
He completed training with his employer as a specialist in letter and parcel delivery. To compensate for his disability the final examination was modified i.e. the examination time was increased. He has worked as a mail deliverer since successfully completing the training.

2. Employee:

Disability and functional limitation:
He has a right brachial palsy (paralysis of all muscles of the arm due to damage of the plexus between the spine and armpit). Due to the brachial palsy he also is restricted in his area of reach as well as in the manipulation of objects. His degree of disability is 80.

Training and job:
He has worked for many years as a qualified postman (letter and parcel deliverer) for his employer.

3. Employee:

Disability and functional limitation:
A work accident many years ago led to a disability of his right arm. The arm disability also leads to restrictions in his area of reach and in the manipulation of objects. The degree of disability is 80.

Training and job:
Until his accident he worked as a specialist worker in forestry. After his medical rehab he changed to his current employer, where he has been employed for many years as a qualified postman.

Workplace and duties:

The three postmen are each responsible for different areas. Each morning in the high-tech mail sorting center of the Bayreuth MAIL Branch, they sort letters and parcels according to their post run, before they begin with their deliveries. Because of the volume of mail the delivery takes place with the aid of company vehicles. The company vehicles were adapted to the disabilities with one-handed operation by for example:
- an automatic gearbox
- a steering wheel spinner knob,
- a remote control on the steering wheel for hooter, lights, windscreen wipers, indicator, etc.
- an electric emergency brake (handbrake) and
- placing the ignition switch as well as the indicator switch on the left

One postman prefers operating the indicator to switch placed on the left, as he has problems operating the remote control.

These measures also serve as an example for other adaptions for disability-friendly design of service vehicles in:
- MAIL Branch Gießen for a deliverer with a prosthesis of his right forearm (by an additional installing of a start-/stop automatic for the motor on the left side on the steering-wheel)
- MAIL Branch Dortmund for four deliverers with a vertebral spine disorder (by the installing of an orthopedic driver's seat)
- MAIL Branch Munster for a deliverer with a amputated lower leg on his right side (by a provision of an automatic vehicle and the installation of the accelerator on the left side)
- MAIL Branch Rosenheim for an employee with multiple sclerosis (MS) from the house service who can activate control elements only with her hands (by leasing an automatic vehicle and the transformation of the brake and gas to manual operation, which was transformed in 2014and she is still driving)

Assistive devices used:

vehicle accessories and vehicle adaptations
vehicle accessories and vehicle adaptations to control brake and engage or disengage parking brake
vehicle accessories and vehicle adaptations to operate steering system
accessories and adaptations to complementary functions necessary to operate vehicles
seats and cushions for motor vehicles and accessories and adaptations relating to seating invehicles

Work organization:

Organizationally their work volume was reduced. The work volume would normally fill for example for the usual 31 working hours - for which they have a weekly working time of 38.5 hours. The reduction of work volume was recognized as an extraordinary financial burden (decreased output) by the Office for vocational integration.

Participation and support:

The coordination of vocational participation in the branch took place through the representative for employees with severe disabilities and the representative of the employer. The representative for employees with severe disabilities contacted and worked together with the respective stakeholders:
- Employment Agency (salary subsidy for vocational integration),
- Employers Liability Insurance Association (assistive measure support),
- German Pension Insurance (assistive measure support) and
- Office for vocational integration (reduced output compensation, technical advice and assistive measure support) for the disability-friendly layout.
This meant that long-term job security could be ensured for these employees.



  • organisation /
  • physical disability /
  • Deutsche Post /
  • one-handedness /
  • one-hand operation /
  • reduced working capacity /
  • working performance /
  • post /
  • parcel /
  • letter /
  • letter sorting centre /
  • postman /
  • postman /
  • messenger /
  • messenger service /
  • mail delivery /
  • delivery /
  • distributor /
  • distribution /
  • mail distribution /
  • car equipment /
  • motor vehicle /
  • automatic gearbox /
  • transmission /
  • automatic /
  • manual brake /
  • parking brake /
  • steering wheel /
  • steering /
  • steering knob /
  • steering aid /
  • remote control /
  • operating control /
  • horn /
  • indicator /
  • lighting /
  • windscreen wiper /
  • ignition lock /
  • working equipment /
  • mobility /
  • access to workplace /
  • paralysis /
  • work task /
  • transport /
  • mobility aid /
  • brake /
  • driving /
  • employment /
  • participation in working life /
  • participation /
  • full-time job /
  • employer /
  • employee /
  • gas /
  • accelerator pedal /
  • manual accelerator /
  • brake pedal /
  • seat /
  • driver /
  • driver's seat /
  • lower arm prosthesis /
  • prosthesis /
  • below-knee amputation /
  • handling /
  • vocational rehabilitation /
  • brain /
  • arm /
  • hand /
  • leg /
  • lower leg /
  • spine /
  • EASTIN /
  • inclusion officer of the employer /
  • representation of the severely disabled /
  • transport, trade and logistics /
  • handling and transport /
  • body posture and body part movement /
  • mobility and locomotion /
  • environmental influences, safety and loads /
  • brain damage /
  • amputation /
  • labour office /
  • office for vocational integration /
  • Employers Liability Insurance Association /
  • pension insurance /
  • hand impairment /
  • arm impairment /
  • hand amputation /
  • back illness /
  • leg impairment /
  • arm paralysis /
  • multiple sclerosis /
  • service /
  • dispatch /
  • logistics /
  • postal system /
  • gripping /
  • holding /
  • body posture /
  • carrying /
  • rate of work /
  • finger hand movement /
  • reaching area /
  • body load /
  • sitting /
  • shoulder arm movement /
  • foot movement /
  • workplace design /
  • work organisation /
  • technical advice /
  • integration aid /
  • wage costs subsidy /
  • assistive product /
  • car adaptation /
  • subsidy to secure employment

update status: 29.05.2018

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