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Deutsche Post DHL Group - use of electro-bikes for mail delivery staff with physical disability

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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.

Disability and functional limitation of the employees:

The disabled and severely disabled employees can take very little physical stress due to spinal disease or chronic hepatitis. Prolonged manual lifting of loads and static body postures should therefore be avoided.

Training and job:

The employees are qualified or trained postal workers or specialists for letter and freight deliveries who in part have been employed for many years by their employer.

Workplace and duties:

The postal workers are responsible for different areas. Each morning they check and sort the letters according to their 'order of route' before they begin with their delivery. Because of the amount or the total weight (up to 50 kg) of the letters or the size of the area (e.g. rural areas up to approx 20 km) the delivery takes place by means of electro-bikes. The Deutsche Post's electro-bike is a special bicycle with an electric motor that has a carrier on the front as well as the back wheel for transporting the letters and a fold-away stand for stopping. In the newer models the motor and pedals have been decoupled, i.e. the power of the motor can also be used without pedal support when driving and pushing the heavily loaded electro-bikes. After daily use, especially in mountainous parts, the bicycle batteries must be recharged.
With the use of electro-bikes the transporting of loads by the disabled and severely disabled mail delivery staff is considerably easier and thus the physical stress is reduced.
Before their first use, the postal workers at the branch were trained to use their electro- bikes safely and efficiently.
The workplaces described for disabled or severely disabled mail delivery staff are part of the MAIL Branches in Dortmund, Bayreuth and Essen. Also in the MAIL Branches Hamburg Center and LETTER Kiel E-Bikes are used for severely disabled and equaled people to reduce strain during delivery and transport.
Additionally in:
-the MAIL Branch Hamburg Center for an employee with a spinal disease a damped anti-slip mat and a reduced shelf is used for sorting letters in a fixed way to reduce stains of the spinal column (by prolonged standing on concrete floor and overhead working / in a compulsive posture) and
- the MAIL Branch Kiel for an employee with a disability and a limited function in his right hand where the control elements are relocated to the left

Assistive devices used:

cycle adaptations
workplace mats

Cooperation and support:

The electro-bikes were supported by each of the responsible Integration Offices. Contact with the Office for Vocational Integration and the coordination of these measures took place through the members of the integration teams (e.g. the representative for employees with severe disabilities), thus securing permanent jobs for the employees in question and the representative of the employer.



  • physical disability /
  • Deutsche Post /
  • post /
  • letter /
  • postman /
  • postman /
  • messenger /
  • messenger service /
  • distribution /
  • distributor /
  • mail distribution /
  • mail delivery /
  • delivery /
  • E-Bike /
  • bicycle /
  • working equipment /
  • access to workplace /
  • handling /
  • work task /
  • transport /
  • mobility aid /
  • mobility /
  • employment /
  • operating control /
  • forced posture /
  • mat /
  • participation in working life /
  • participation /
  • full-time job /
  • employer /
  • employee /
  • vocational rehabilitation /
  • hand /
  • spine /
  • EASTIN /
  • internal disease /
  • inclusion officer of the employer /
  • representation of the severely disabled /
  • team for integration /
  • transport, trade and logistics /
  • handling and transport /
  • body posture and body part movement /
  • mobility and locomotion /
  • environmental influences, safety and loads /
  • office for vocational integration /
  • pension insurance /
  • hand impairment /
  • back illness /
  • hepatitis /
  • service /
  • dispatch /
  • logistics /
  • postal system /
  • gripping /
  • holding /
  • body posture /
  • lifting /
  • carrying /
  • finger hand movement /
  • body load /
  • bending /
  • workplace design /
  • technical advice /
  • assistive product

update status: 29.05.2018

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