Skip Navigation Hotkeys

Search and Service

Case Study Workplace design for a production assistant


With its 150 employees, this medium-sized pharmaceutical company produces food supplements, ready-to-use medicines, cosmetics, essential oils and tea blends.

Employee's disability and impairment:

The man has a back condition. He should therefore avoid heavy lifting as well as carrying and avoid adopting certain postures (bending/bending or twisting the upper body) while performing any job. The man has already participated in medical rehabilitation to improve his health.


The man has been working for the company as a production helper for many years.

Workplace and work task (actual condition):

The production helper works in the clean room area for tablet production. The clean room area consists of individual clean rooms, each containing a tablet press machine. Depending on the recipe, the production assistant transports the required 25 kg powder bags from an airlock, where the various powder bags or powder types are stored, to the weighing or portioning area. To do this, he manually loads four to five bags from different heights onto a trolley and then moves them into the cleanroom area to a table scale. On this scale, which is built into the floor, the production worker has to lift and weigh each bag individually to determine the exact weight for portioning. The sacks are then transported by trolley to the tablet press machines. Depending on the formulation and order quantity, the powder bags are then filled into the tablet press machines. The finished tablets fall into a plastic bag (up to approx. 10 kg), which has to be lifted on a table that is not adjustable in height and much too low, weighed standing up with the upper body strongly bent forward and finally labelled. Depending on the order situation, the production assistant works in parallel on three tablet press machines in different rooms. The production worker repeats this work process for up to 30 bags a day.
The technical advisor of the integration or inclusion office, who was called in by the pension insurance as part of the administrative assistance, determined with the help of the leading characteristic method for lifting and carrying for the risk assessment that without assistive products there is a risk to health or a deterioration of the state of health.

Workplace and work task (target state):

For lifting and transporting the powder bags in the airlock, a vacuum tube lifter that can be moved on a rail system was installed, which enables work without physical exertion through simple operation. The powder bags are lifted onto a trolley with the vacuum lifting device, with which the production assistant then moves to the clean room area to the table scales. In the room with the table scale, another vacuum tube lifter (on a wall on a swiveling boom) was installed to lift the powder bags onto the table scale embedded in the floor. After accurate weighing, the powder bags are lifted back onto the trolley with the vacuum tube lifter and then pushed to the rooms with the tablet press machines. Depending on the recipe and the ordered quantity, the tablet press machines are filled in one of the three rooms. Suction conveyors transport the powder from the bags into the respective tablet press and the finished tablets are filled into plastic bags of up to 10 kg. On height-adjustable packing tables with memory function (for positioning at previously set individual working heights), the plastic bags with the finished pressed tablets are labelled at an ergonomic working height (without forced posture) and weighed for checking. With the aid of the work equipment, the work sequence was redesigned in such a way that the production assistant can continue to perform his work without major strain in the long term.

Assistive products used:

Further Information

The pension insurance promoted medical rehabilitation and assistive products for participation in working life, whereby the Technical Advisory Service of the Integration or Inclusion Office supported the pension insurance within the framework of administrative assistance with regard to work design.

ICF Items

Reference Number:


Last Update: 8 Nov 2021