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Case Study Workplace design for four employees in the mailroom of a municipal administration


The employer is a municipal administration. Among other things, the employer also maintains its own post office or messenger service, where employees with a severe disability also work.

Disability and functional limitation of the employees:

The four employees have a back disease. Due to this illness, they can only be used to a limited extent for activities that require frequent carrying and bending. The GdB (degree of disability) is 50.

Workplace and work task:

The workplaces are located in the mailroom of the city administration. Employees sort incoming mail (letters and packages) for City departments and frank outgoing mail.
Upon delivery, the messenger lifts the incoming mail from the loading area of his vehicle onto the loading ramp of the mailroom (Figure 1). From the loading ramp, employees transport the mail by means of transport cars to the sorting room. There, the mail is lifted from the trolley onto the sorting table (picture 2). On the table the mail is sorted for the different departments (picture 3). The mail is then placed in the mailboxes of the departments or on a shelf (picture 4 and 5).
The workflow for the outgoing mail, which is still franked at the beginning, runs in reverse order.
The activities involved frequent lifting of heavy loads in forced postures. In order to avoid aggravation of the back disease and to enable a reduction of the strain, technical assistive products had to be used that allow lifting as well as lowering of loads in an ergonomic working posture.

Employees now transport incoming mail to the loading ramp level using a transport car (with mechanical lifting and lowering function) and the existing lift. From there the mail is transported to the sorting station with the help of the transport car. After sorting, the mail is deposited in a circulating rack (paternoster rack). The mail no longer has to be lifted onto the ramp or sorting table for delivery and sorting. Lifting is eliminated by using the transport aid, which can also be used as a lifting aid (Fig. 6). The loads only have to be moved on one level due to the possibility of level compensation. The use of the carousel eliminates the forced postures involved in depositing mail, e.g. bending over and standing on tiptoe.

Assistive products used:

Further Information

The design suitable for disabled people was supported by the Integration and Inclusion Office. Advice was provided by the Technical Advisory Service of the Integration and Inclusion Office.

ICF Items

Reference Number:


Last Update: 4 Jun 2020