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Case Study Return to work for a cutting machine operator


The small company employs 14 people and is active in the areas of toolmaking, mould making, injection moulding and the production of mechanical parts. The parts produced are used in the plastics processing industry.

Employee's Disability and Functional Limitation:

The man suffered a heart attack, after which he had multiple stents inserted during surgery. He then underwent several weeks of medical rehabilitation at a rehabilitation clinic to improve his health and restore his ability to work. During the medical rehabilitation, new complications arose in his hands - they began to stiffen and required surgery. Due to the disability, heavy as well as frequent lifting and carrying work should not be performed. In addition to physical strain, psychological strain due to stress, which also has a negative effect on the cardiovascular system, should be avoided. After the stay in the rehabilitation clinic, the man was gradually reintegrated into the work process over several months.

Training and job:

The man completed an apprenticeship as a cutting machine operator and has been working for the company in his apprenticed profession for several years. After his heart attack and his return to the company, he received further external training to enable him to take on other less stressful tasks in the company. To this end, the employee took part in a course of several weeks on die-sinking EDM at a Vocational Training Centre (BFW) and he can now be deployed more widely in the company.

Workplace and work task:

The man works as a machinist in production at the company. There he operates cutting and eroding machines for tool production, which are used in the field of plastic injection moulding. Since the job requires further handling or lifting and transporting of loads, a lifting aid or a rollable hydraulic floor crane and a transport/roll cart have been provided for this purpose. If this should not be satisfactory for load handling, the colleagues support him.

Occupational health and safety:

The company's occupational health and safety officer conducted instruction and training on lifting and carrying loads with the hogger so that he can avoid high physical stresses in connection with the assistive products used for load handling in the workplace.

Assistive products used:

Further Information

Medical and vocational rehabilitation were funded by the pension scheme. During this time, the employee also received maintenance benefits in the form of transitional allowance from the pension insurance. The transitional allowance was also paid by the pension insurance during the gradual reintegration. The pension insurance also supported the training course at the Vocational Training Centre in connection with the job rehabilitation. The assistive products for handling loads were purchased and provided by the company as part of its occupational health and safety policy and its duty of care. This also included instruction and training by the company's occupational safety officer.

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Last Update: 14 Dec 2020