Schiphol tests three new lifting aids to lighten workload

Schiphol is collaborating with baggage handlers to test three new lifting aids. These tests will reveal whether the lifting aids sufficiently lighten the work of baggage workers, whether they need further development and whether they are suitable for purchase and installation. The tests are in addition to Schiphol’s earlier announcement to purchase 19 baggage robots and 30 lifting aids. Schiphol is working on introducing properly functioning lifting aids, that can be used by all employees, at every work location in the baggage halls by the end of April 2024 at the latest. In doing so, the airport is improving the working conditions of baggage employees. 

The three lifting aids being tested are the Turnable CLS, the e-CLS and the e-CLS Launcher. With this, Schiphol is testing the best available lifting aids on the market and continues to develop further. 

Turnable CLS: this lifting aid has been developed according to the needs and insights of KLM and Schiphol. This pneumatic lifting aid allows alternating left-to-right and right-to-left operation, which can reduce shoulder complaints. 

e-CLS: this is an electric lifting aid used to load baggage. Some of the benefits of this new type of lifting aid compared to existing ones is that it is more user-friendly and safer. This lifting aid can also be calibrated to certain heights.  

e-CLS Launcher: this is also an electric lifting aid. This lifting aid makes it possible to load the top layer of cases in a baggage container as well. This loading is done by a drive system on the lifting aid, which eliminates the manual pushing of suitcases. 

Improving working conditions 

CEO Ruud Sondag previously stated: “People must come first again at Schiphol, and that’s why it is important that we improve the working conditions of baggage employees [...] We are committed to lightening the workload for everyone in the baggage halls.”  

These tests contribute to the ambition to install a properly functioning lifting aid at every work location in the baggage halls by April 2024. In doing so, Schiphol is taking steps together with the baggage handlers to bring down the physical load for baggage employees, as is also demanded by the Labour Inspectorate.