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Case Study Workplace design for a cut flower wholesaler


The employer is a wholesale cut flower business.

Employee's disability and functional limitation:

The man is severely disabled and has right-sided spasticity (hemispasticity) of the extremities and a deformity of the right hip joint. He is limited in his ability to perform activities that require him to assume certain postures (e.g., stooping) and to manually transport loads. Despite his disability, he can walk short and medium distances at a slow pace.

Training and job:

The man learned the job of a wholesale and foreign trade merchant. After the vocational training he was not taken on, subsequently he did not find a workplace in the field of his trained profession and became unemployed. He therefore also applied for jobs that were not directly related to his learned job and thus obtained employment as an assistant at a cut flower wholesaler.

Workplace and work task:

The employee is mainly responsible for taking orders and the picking of orders required for this. Office work is performed only to a limited extent, so that the picking activity is the main focus. In the cold store, the employee assembles cut flowers for individual deliveries according to number and variety and arranges them accordingly on floor trolleys for delivery or collection.
The cut flowers and the transport containers are very light and can be easily moved by the employee despite the existing handicaps. However, the existing transport cars made of galvanized steel are relatively heavy and difficult to steer because of the poor arrangement of the four swivel castors. Also, the height adjustment of the shelves is very cumbersome and could not be done by the employee alone. For this reason, the employer purchased lighter transport cars made of aluminium, whose lightweight shelves can be quickly and easily adjusted in height by means of a latching mechanism. Transport cars of this type had been in use for some time in the neighbouring wholesale flower market and had proved their worth.
The aluminium transport cars are considerably lighter than the previously used steel transport cars and are easy to handle because they are equipped with two swivel castors and two fixed castors. Due to the light weight of the transport carts and the one-handed locking linkage, the height adjustment of the shelf plates is no longer a problem for the employee.

Further Information

The assistive products for the newly created workplace were supported by the Integration and Inclusion Office. The employer also received a wage cost subsidy from the employment agency as integration assistance in the context of the new employment. The counselling was provided by the technical counselling service of the integration or inclusion office.

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Last Update: 20 Apr 2020