Case Study
Workplace design for a kitchen assistant with psychogenic seizures and spine disability


The employer is a deaconess house of the evangelical Diakonie, in which deaconesses live and in which they are trained to deaconess and other occupations. There are hospitals, as well as nurseries and retirement homes. The employer intends to terminate a kitchen help with a severe disability. Therefore, he requested the consent to termination at the Integration or Inclusion Office, as the diminishing performance and the work of Küchenhilfe are no longer economically viable for him.

Disability and functional restriction of the employee:

- Psychogenic seizures - spinal disease The woman has been experiencing psychogenic seizures for some time now, for which the attending physician found no organic causes. Thus, physical exhaustion and excitement (stress) seem to trigger the seizures. The spinal disease leads to the woman to restrictions on manual lifting and carrying loads.

Education and job:

The employee has not learned a profession. She has been working as a kitchen assistant at the employer for many years. The workplace of the woman is in great danger. The termination would probably mean for the woman a permanent joblessness, as it is very difficult to find.

Workplace and work duties:

The kitchen help has the task to peel potatoes (with the help of a potato peeling machine), cleaning dishes (eg pots, trays and containers) and to carry out the disposal and cleaning of buckets with scraps of food. For cleaning the larger kitchen utensils, the employee uses a high-pressure cleaner, which is also needed in other areas of the deaconess house and therefore can not always stand by for them. If it comes to such a situation, the woman falls into panic rush, is very irritable and it can be stress-related to a psychogenic seizure come. The cleaning by hand of heavy and unwieldy pots, pans, containers and sheets loaded the damaged spine very quickly and quickly leads to exhaustion. Another problem is the heavy cast-iron potato peeling machine. Due to their oversizing and the lack of space, this must be stored in a neighboring room and manually transported back and forth in use. Although the machine is provided with two rollers, it can not be transported by the employee alone. She has to look for another employee or another employee, which in turn triggers stress. To reduce the stress or mental stress and physical stress, a pot washer, a smaller and much lighter potato peeling machine and an additional high-pressure cleaner (for manual cleaning) for the kitchen were purchased. All required equipment and machines are now available to the kitchen help at any time, so that it is not dependent on anyone. The new potato peeling machine, due to its small size, also has a fixed location in the kitchen area.

Keywords and Further Information

Funding and participation:

The integration or inclusion office promoted the measure and could thus help secure the workplace of the kitchen help. The advice was provided by the Technical Advisory Service of the Integration and Inclusion Office.

ICF Items

Reference Number:


Last Update: 14 Feb 2019