Current Year

Gerhard Gerber

safety belt 'zwischen himmel und erde' (diploma work)
© FOC / Erwan Frotin

Gerhard Gerber in his studio
© FOC / Körner Union, Lausanne



Product and Industrial Design



Safety belt 'zwischen himmel und erde' (diploma work)


Working safely between heaven and earth

How is it possible to work safely at a considerable height with a set of tools weighing up to thirty kilos? The product designer Gerhard Gerber has developed a tool belt for just this purpose. Similar products did already exist, but the product designer from Thun devoted himself to the quiet work of optimizing. Here ergonomics – the theory of adapting materials to the qualities and abilities of the working man to the greatest extent possible – does not just mean being able to sit more comfortably, as in the case of an office chair, but in extreme cases can make a difference between life and death. The fact is that this tool safety belt in hard-wearing and yet breathing artificial fibres is used in steel and mast erection, when assembling cable-car equipment, outdoor cables and façades, and by the fire brigade or for industrial climbing. In other words, anywhere where quick access to tools has to be guaranteed and the workflow must not be interrupted whatever happens. So the belt with its modular structure also offers the possibility of being suspended from a support belt without any fuss.

The tools are positioned on the body in such a way that the weight is distributed across the shoulder and hip straps as well as possible. Snap hooks for hanging tools on can be placed in pre-sewn loops at precisely the points that best suit the particular fitter's body. Gerhard Gerber refines the details. The snap hooks, for example, are injection-moulded so that they cannot twist sideways. This is a crucial advantage, as only this construction method makes it possible to take tools out and put them back with one hand. Overall, the design of the tool belt meets the most rigid functional requirements, but also fulfils high aesthetic demands. This is an example of independent, innovative product design, even if it is unlikely that laymen will scarcely be able to recognize it as such.
Peter Stohler



Gerhard Gerber





Industrial Designer FH