Case Study
Arbeitsgestaltung für einen Ingenieur bei der SMS Group

There are 3 images available for this case study:

  1. Arbeitsplatz|(p111192)Bürostuhl|(p111193)FM-Anlage
  2. Arbeitsplatz|(p111192)Bürostuhl|(p111193)FM-Anlage
  3. Arbeitsplatz|(p111192)Bürostuhl|(p111193)FM-Anlage


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, refinement and maintenance / servicing), machine production with pre-assembly of components and plant construction active. An inclusion agreement has been concluded for equal professional opportunities and support for people with disabilities.

Disability and functional restriction of the employee:

The man has a back problem and a hearing impairment. Due to the disability, it should not be used for activities in which he has to adopt certain postures (e.g. static sitting and long standing), as the disability leads to increased stress and back pain. He can also provide acoustic information, such as B. can only perceive speech and signals to a limited extent and therefore uses hearing aids. The GdB (degree of disability) is 50.

Training and job:

The man studied electrical engineering and is a qualified electrical engineer. He works in the company as head of quality assurance and measurement technology.

Workplace and working environment:

In the corporate area of quality assurance and measurement technology, the engineer is responsible as a manager for the employees there and for the following specialist content: - Definition and specification of measuring devices and non-destructive testing systems - Creation of quantity structures including the determination of effort and costs - Various specifications for quality assurance, test procedures and proprietary software - Creation of contract passages - project management - Coordination of the assembly as well as workshop tests - Calibration of own systems - Support commissioning, problem solving for customers - Customer support and training - Worldwide acceptance / inspections of purchased components or systems for the company - Development of new measuring techniques including test series - Monitoring compliance with safety regulations^ To do this, he works in the area of ​​quality assurance in an office at a computer workstation with an orthopedic office chair and an electrically height-adjustable office table (Figs. 1 and 2). This enables him to avoid static postures when working with a computer screen and to work in an ergonomic sitting or standing posture. Due to the measurement methods used at the different stations within the quality assurance or workshop, participation in meetings and customer care, the activity also includes walking, which enables a further change in working posture and thus additionally helps the physical support and musculoskeletal system or to relieve the back. In addition, to improve communication in connection with his hearing aids, the engineer uses what is known as a radio frequency transmitter system (FM system), which looks like a pen and improves speech understanding. The directional microphone of the pen transmits what is spoken directly into the hearing aids without interference and without reverberation noises. The aid, which looks like a pen, can be positioned on the table (Fig. 3) or carried directly by the person speaking using a loop. For example, the pen enables calls to be made on business trips with a smartphone. He uses a cordless phone to make phone calls at his computer workstation via the landline network. The cordless telephone is coupled to the hearing aids and as soon as the phone is held up to the hearing aids, they automatically switch to their telephone program and what is said is transmitted directly to the hearing aids and amplified without interference. He can also be reached completely in the area of ​​quality assurance and companies via the cordless telephone.

Work organization:

Certain activities that have to be carried out in the workshop in the area of quality assurance and measurement technology cannot be carried out or only insufficiently by the engineer due to back pain. Participation in large-scale meetings has to be done by a colleague for him, as the engineer has a hard time selecting individual voices and thus following the content of the meeting due to the existing hearing impairment, large groups of people and quickly changing people speaking. The resulting extraordinary financial burden on the company could be compensated by subsidies.

Assistive devices used:

In-the-ear hearing aids Behind-the-ear hearing aids Landline phones (cordless phones) Work tables Work and office chairs Radio frequency transmitter systems

Funding and participation:

80 percent of the costs for the aids for the disability-friendly design of the computer workstation (office table and chair) and the aids (special cordless telephone and FM system) for improving language comprehension for the employee were funded by the Inclusion Office to 100 percent. In addition, to compensate for the extraordinary burden, the company initially received a grant from the Inclusion Office for two years to secure employment, which can be applied for again if necessary. The funding of the aids was applied for at the specialized agency for disabled people in working life. Funding to compensate for the extraordinary burden in the form of an employment security subsidy was applied for directly from the Inclusion Office. The local specialist offices for people with disabilities in working life / occupation only exist in their function and connection to the inclusion offices in North Rhine-Westphalia. When submitting the application, the integration specialist service for hearing impaired people was also included, which analyzed and discussed the situation together with the representatives of the severely disabled as well as the company doctor and the specialist department for disabled people in working life. The so-called expert service opinion subsequently prepared by the specialist services advocated the use of the aids and the compensation of the extraordinary burden on the company and the corresponding funding. The advice, adjustment and sale of the hearing aids was carried out by a specialist shop for hearing acoustics.

Keywords and Further Information

No information about funding available.

ICF Items

Reference Number:


Last Update: 7 Apr 2021