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Case Study Work design for a warehouse manager at the SMS Group


The company employs around 14,000 people worldwide and around 4,500 in Germany and is active in the steel and metal industry (e.g. metallurgy, forming, finishing and maintenance / servicing), mechanical manufacturing with pre-assembly of components and plant engineering. An inclusion agreement has been concluded to ensure equal job opportunities and support for people with disabilities.

Disability and functional limitation of the employee:

The man has a back disease and, due to his disability, activities involving frequent and heavy lifting and carrying of loads (e.g. of equipment and tools) should be avoided. In addition, he should not be employed for activities that require the permanent and frequent assumption of certain postures (e.g. bending over and arms stretched out in front of the upper body) - this applies especially in combination with lifting and carrying or handling loads. The GdB (degree of disability) is 60.

Training and job:

The man is a trained welder and now works as a warehouse manager for the technical service at the company in shifts due to his disability.

Workplace and work organisation:

The employee was actually employed as a welder by the company until, due to his disability, he could no longer be used for the welding work that was physically demanding for him in the long term. For this reason, a suitable job was sought for him in the company and, with his consent, he was transferred to the warehouse or as a shift supervisor for warehouse management.
As a warehouse manager he takes care of:
- the management of tools as well as measuring equipment,
- the management of containers including receiving, issuing, picking, checking as well as repairing,
- the management of the warehouse and
- the transport of tools or goods between the factory halls.
To enable the employee to carry out his work in a way that is suitable for disabled people, a new electric transport vehicle with a hood and road approval was purchased for him for transport work on the large company premises (see photos). For ergonomic and stress-free loading and unloading of the electric transport vehicle, appropriate assistive products, such as forklift trucks and pallet trucks, are available in the warehouse and also in the halls, if required.

Assistive products used:

Further Information

The assistive products used for suitable for disabled people or the electric transport vehicle were 80 percent funded by the Office of Inclusion. An economic advantage was deducted from the assistive products costs because the assistive products can also be used by other employees. The company applied for the subsidy to the specialist agency for people with disabilities in working life. The local specialist offices for people with disabilities in working life / jobs exist in this way in their function and connection to the inclusion offices only in North Rhine-Westphalia. After the application had been submitted, the Technical Advisory Service of the Inclusion Office was called in, which analysed and discussed the situation together with the company's representative body for severely disabled persons and the specialist office for disabled persons in working life. The so-called expert opinion subsequently prepared by the technical advisory service endorsed the use of the electric transport vehicle and the funding could be granted accordingly.

ICF Items

Reference Number:


Last Update: 7 Apr 2021