Case Study
Work design with risk assessment for a newly hired modeler with a shoulder / back problem and hearing loss in one ear


With its ten employees, the company produces models for foundries and molds for toolmaking (eg deep-drawing and injection molds). The company hired a qualified employee with disabilities. Disability and impairment of the employee. The man has a back disease, a shoulder disease, high blood pressure and is hard of hearing in one ear. The back and shoulder disease is associated with corresponding locally occurring pain. The man was already involved in medical rehabilitation. Due to disability, the man should not be used for activities that: - the lifting and carrying of loads over 10 kg (according to the opinion of the medical service of the Employment Agency), - the use of forced postures (arms above shoulder level or stooped / bent posture), - expose the body to vibration or shock and - require working under a higher sound pressure level or noise (personal noise protection or ear protection provided) and increased climatic conditions. The degree of disability (GdB) is 40 - the man is equal to people with severe disabilities.

Education and job:

The trained and unemployed modeler specializing in wood model making applied for a job advertisement from the employer. After the application process, he was recruited by the employer for the production of wood and plastic models.

Workplace and work duties:

The workplace of the model builder is located in a closed, normally air-conditioned workshop with daylight and artificial light. His tasks in the production of the models include the elevation and cutting of the material and the machine operation. Depending on the client's order, the shape, size and weight vary. For the transport of the raw material, the parts to be assembled and the finished models are u. a. Electric fork lift trucks (trucks) with which the modeler can transport the material to and the finished models of scissor lift. For example, the trucks also allow the material to be stored on the newly acquired scissor lift table. With the aid of the hydraulically infinitely height-adjustable scissor lift, the modeler can then position the raw material, the individual parts and the model via a manual switch at an ergonomic working height so that there are no forced postures. For safety reasons, the table movement under load is made via the handset, which is attached to a 3 m long cable. In addition, a 360-degree swiveling column crane was installed for lifting and carrying in the middle of the workshop, which can be used from all workstations. The column swivel crane also allows turning and moving of up to 50 kg heavy items and models on the scissor lift.


The Technical Advisor of the Integration or Inclusion Office, who was appointed by the pension scheme as part of the administrative assistance, determined the risk assessment with the aid of the lifting and carrying characteristic method, which poses a risk to the health of employees without disabilities even without the aid. The disability-friendly design or the use of tools for handling loads was therefore urgently needed.

Assistive devices used:

Ear or ear protection hand-operated pallet truck cranes, hoists and lifting (cranes) lifting and positioning systems (scissor)

Keywords and Further Information

Funding and participation:

The pillar jib crane was only partially funded by the Integration / Inclusion Office for the design of the newly created workplace, since it is also used by other workers for handling loads and the employer would have to provide an appropriate tool for reasons of safety at work. Pension insurance promoted medical rehabilitation and the scissor lift to participate in working life and paid the employer a staggered integration allowance of 70%, 60% and 50% over six months. The advice was provided, in the context of mutual assistance, by the Technical Advisory Service of the Integration and Inclusion Office.

ICF Items

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Last Update: 21 Nov 2019