How to keep disabled workers and their skills in the business.
We are all unique. That seems pretty obvious, and it is especially relevant in specific areas of the working world – and yet it is a fact that is still sometimes overlooked. Manual industrial work is one of these specific areas. To ensure workers perform well and can maintain healthy posture at the same time, work benches need to be adjusted precisely to their specific needs. Appropriate ergonomic principles are even more important when it comes to disabled employees. Accessible and disability-friendly work bench design perfectly counterbalances physical impediments regarding aspects such as height, handling area and lighting. A present-day example of how work bench systems can support long-serving employees can be found at Bögra GmbH in Solingen.
Decades of expertise
Bögra is a specialist manufacturer of rod bushings and piston pin bushings in die-cast copper alloys with a history reaching back more than one hundred years. Established in 1913, the company was named Böntgen & Grah following Eugen Grah’s decision to join founder Max Böntgen. It didn’t take the business long to build up a workforce of 60 employees. After 1945, the manufacturer decided to close ranks with the automotive sector, which remains one of its most important partners today.
At the same time, the company started to venture abroad and consequently expanded its product portfolio. The focus shifted from pre-turned to ready-to-install slide bearings. Gravity die casting parts, continuous casting parts and combination bearings were added to the product range. After restructuring in 1992, the company was renamed Bögra (a portmanteau of Böntgen and Grah) and, the following year, staff moved into a 1,200 m2 production facility. It is in no small part thanks to continuous technological additions, such as the introduction of semi-automatic casting machinery for gravity die casting in 2011, that the company has seen its customer base continuously grow.
Disability-friendly work bench design takes the strain
Owing to various health problems, an employee in the dispatch department has restricted mobility and is unable to reach very far. As he is responsible for weighing individual components and heavy cartons of up to 30 kilograms, movements that typically form part of his job would have caused him serious pain. Lifting heavy cartons and holding the same position for long periods of time would have been particularly strenuous. A cutting-edge solution was needed that could provide a customisable dispatch work bench so that he could carry on working. That’s why Bögra opted for our Work Bench System. During the planning stage, managers from both Bögra and item met with the employee on several occasions to hash out the details.
The result is a disability-friendly work bench comprising an electrically height-adjustable table frame with a table top featuring recessed scales. The staff member can now take the goods in a comfortable posture and move them onto the table – all without having to use a great deal of strength. Depending on requirements, he can now also work standing up or sitting down. Comfortable reaching distances and contemporary power and data supply are ensured by two Drawer Units, a Tray with an Angle Locking Bracket, a cable duct and a Keyboard Arm. What’s more, additional equipment such as a label printer can be positioned perfectly within the employee’s reduced handling area. Thanks to his new accessible work bench, he can now work extremely productively and take care of his health at the same time.
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