Case Study
Workplace design for employees with limited physical fitness in a cemetery


The employer is the technical operations of a city, whose tasks include the care and maintenance of the green areas as well as forest areas and waste disposal. The green areas include parks and cemeteries, with the eight cemeteries alone covering an area of ​​58 hectares.

Disability and functional restrictions of the employees:

1. employee The man has a back disorder, shoulder-arm syndrome, high blood pressure and reduced lung function. Because of these disabilities, the man should not do any heavy physical activity. In particular, he should avoid bending and lifting or carrying heavy loads. The GdB (degree of disability) is 50. 2. employee The man also has back pain. He should also avoid forced postures (frequent bending and bending) and lifting and carrying heavy loads. The degree of disability is 40 (GdB 40). 3. employee The man has chronic gastric mucosal disease and epilepsy. It should not be exposed to high physical stress in the long run. The degree of disability is 70 (GdB 70). 4. employee The man has chronic bronchitis and back pain. The degree of disability is 50 (GdB 50).

Workplace and duties (actual status):

The four men work together with five other colleagues on a 15 hectare (150,000 square meter) cemetery. There they carry out the following activities: - Set up the open grave with a set of grave grates (weight approx. 100 kg) as well as the laying of squared timber, planks and solid wooden platforms. - Transport and laying of floor and driving plates in the grave field and all lawn paths that are used by the cemetery excavator. There is only one mini-tipper in the cemetery for the transportation of the grave grates as well as the floor and driving plates. For the employees, this means that they always have to load the sheets in the garage so that they can be laid out on site. If the mini tipper is needed for other activities in between, the employees first have to unload it. - Installation of the sheeting material to support the grave. When digging graves in the so-called "difficult soils", the front and side walls often collapse, especially in the rainy periods. The work is particularly difficult due to the inflowing water and mud, manual installation is hardly possible. The elaborate finishing work with planks and spindles can then only be carried out with great physical exertion. - Clear old tombstones, slabs and tombs. The old gravestones are currently being cleared by hand, the men have to carry or grind the stones weighing up to 500 kg approx. 3 to 10 m and place them on the approx. 80 cm high loading surface of the mini tipper. The stones are also unloaded by hand at the collection point. - Loading and transport of avenue trees, bale plants and container goods. Weights of up to 250 kg have to be lifted and carried. - Deforestation of trees and bushes, transport and loading of the sawn timber. - Loading devices (vibrating plates, concrete mixers, generators, irrigation drums, hose trolleys, stone cutting machines, etc.) weighing up to 150 kg onto the truck and trailer. - Loading and transportation of fertilizers and soil improvers (lime, peat, humus, cement, plant treatment agents, etc.) in bags of 25 to 50 kg. All loading work on or from the tipper must be done by hand. The tipper has neither a loading aid nor a hydraulically assisted tipping device. - Stone laying work on grave fields and moats. The shaped stones and stone slabs to be laid have a weight of up to 80 kg. The stones and slabs are brought in and prepared by hand since there is no lifting aid attached to the transport trolley. In the old part of the cemetery, the stones and slabs have to be carried up to 15 m away, starting with the tipper is not possible due to the narrow paths. - Bulk goods (hard limestone, sand, etc.) are transported using wheelbarrows or the mini tipper. - Driving the large area mower and the mini tipper.

Workplace and duties (desired status):

A sliding formwork box is used so that the employees do not have to carry and hold heavy planks and spindles when digging the grave. This is set up on the grave field before starting work and slides into the grave as the excavation work progresses. This eliminates the heavy fiddling with the planks and metal spindles. Two special, lower transport trolleys were purchased for the transport and storage of the floor and driving plates as well as the grave grates. These can be used to drive the equipment to any location and to load or unload it with little effort. In addition, the sheets and grates can remain on the trolley and do not have to be constantly loaded and unloaded. A motor tipper with a hydraulically supported tipping device had to be purchased to transport the excess excavation and all the building materials required in the grave field. In addition, a transport vehicle had to be equipped with a loading crane to make it easier for workers to lift the stone slabs or gravestones onto and off the loading area. A stone transport trolley is used to make work easier for the clearing of returned gravesites, especially for the removal of old tombs. With this, the stones can be removed or transported with little effort.

Assistive devices used:

Hand-held industrial transport equipment powered industrial pedestrian transport equipment Power operated industrial passenger transport vehicles (tipping vehicles) Cranes, pulley blocks and load handling devices (loading crane for vehicles) Landscaping, agricultural and construction machinery and equipment

Keywords and Further Information

Funding and participation:

The integration and inclusion office promoted the design of disability-friendly workplaces, taking into account the fact that the employment rate for people with severe disabilities is 7 percent higher than the statutory requirement. The employer therefore received funding of 75 percent of the costs. The advice was provided by the technical advice service of the integration or inclusion office.

ICF Items

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Last Update: 8 Aug 2019