From strain to relief: Hovmand lifter transforms work environment at Danish care home

Employees at a Jutland care home were struggling with back pain when they had to lift food and beverages into place in the kitchen every week. Therefore, the municipality decided to invest in a lifter from Hovmand to prevent employee wear and tear.

The challenge

Tired shoulders, back pain, and lower back soreness after a long workday. That was the reality for the kitchen staff at a public Jutland care center for many years. When the care center received food deliveries three times a week, it was the staff's responsibility to carry the goods into the kitchen.

"When we had to lift the goods and carry them to the shelves in our storage room, it was our backs that took the strain. We could really feel it, especially when we had to place a large number of items on the shelves – it really took a toll on our backs," the staff explains.

The lifting tasks ranged from 12-kilogram juice and syrup cartons to sacks of potatoes, bread crates, and trays of canned goods. In total, this meant that each of them lifted up to 3,300 kilograms per week in strenuous, forward-leaning positions – not an unusual task in this industry. 

The solution

Easy and intuitive  

The municipality's physiotherapists also noticed the numerous repetitive and impractical lifts and concluded that there was a need to find a solution to protect the staff from physical strain and, in the long run, prevent wear and tear.

Therefore, the search for the right solution to the problem began, as explained by the municipality's implementation consultant.

"It was important that the lifting solution was not too cumbersome, and it had to be easy and intuitive to operate, without requiring a forklift certificate or similar. Additionally, the device had to meet safety requirements for the work environment," the implementation consultant explains and continues:

"We explored the market and discovered that Hovmand was the only company offering this type of compact lifting device, and it was straightforward to use."


No more strain 

In collaboration with Hovmand, the kitchen staff at the care center found the right lifter model – an Impact 70 with a platform. This model is now in use at five care centers and two specialised facilities in the municipality.

The kitchen staff can easily raise and lower the platform to match the height of the items they are transporting. Instead of bending forward to lift and place the goods, they simply pull the kitchen items onto the lifter's platform and wheel them into place. This has significantly lightened the workload for the staff, as they explain:

"It used to be tough coming to work when we had to lift so much, so it's incredibly nice that we've found a solution. The lifter from Hovmand is truly a great help, and we're very happy with the tool we've received."


"It used to be tough coming to work when we had to lift so much, so it's incredibly nice that we've found a solution. The lifter from Hovmand is truly a great help, and we're very happy with the tool we've received."

Employee at the care home

   The conclusion

More ideas for using the lifter

However, the kitchen staff needed some time to adjust to using the lifter in their daily routine after years of manual lifting. 

"During the first few weeks after we got the lifter, we had to remind each other to use it. And it might have taken a bit longer to use the lifter than to lift manually at the beginning. But if you think about your skeleton, it's truly a good investment – it's better to spend an extra 5 minutes and avoid a bad back." 

In fact, the staff's biggest problem now is that there is only one lifter at the care center, so there is competition to be the first to use the new tool. They have also started brainstorming ideas for where else in the kitchen they can utilise the Impact lifter. For instance, they are considering adding a steel plate to the lifter's current platform, allowing the kitchen staff to transport hot pots and pans with the aid of the tool.

Easier staff recruitment 

The implementation consultant is also pleased with the municipality's decision to invest in a lifter from Hovmand. Besides protecting the employees' backs in the present, there is also a significant symbolic value in investing in the well-being of the workforce: 

"In a time of demographic challenges and a shortage of personnel, the municipality must place even greater emphasis on the work environment of its employees. It is crucial that the staff perceives us as a workplace that prioritises development, new technology, and improved solutions, making it hopefully more enjoyable to come to work. Additionally, it becomes easier to recruit personnel when we, as an employer, demonstrate our commitment to innovation and forward-thinking – just as we have done with the purchase of the Hovmand lifter," concludes the municipality's implementation consultant.

Can you relate to the challenges faced by the Danish care home?

If so, we can certainly help make daily tasks easier for you and your colleagues. 



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