In installation work, the physical workload is high. Awkward postures, heavy lifting and repetitive movements are often seen. To improve aspects of the work situation, frequently used pliers were redesigned to make them suitable for more cutting tasks. In this study these multitask pliers are evaluated in comparison to the originally used pliers in a field study and a laboratory study. For the field study 26 subjects participated divided into two groups according to their type of work. Ten subjects participated in the laboratory study. The multitask plier appeared to result in more comfort during working, more relaxed working and more satisfaction. No differences in productivity were found. In conclusion, the multitask pliers can replace the originally used pliers and are suitable for more tasks than the original pliers. The installation workers have to carry less pliers by using the multitask pliers. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.