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Identification of risk factors associated with drywall installation through the analysis of traumatic injuries.

Chiou-S; Pan-C
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 20-25, 2000, Orlando, Florida. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2000 May; :10
Drywall installation involves many strenuous tasks that can place extraordinary stress on the worker. To identify the leading causes of injuries for further ergonomic study, an analysis of traumatic injuries among drywall installers was performed. Data from the annual survey of occupational injuries and illness conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) were analyzed for 1992 through 1995. During this period, 16,023 traumatic injuries involved days away from work. Three "nature of injury" categories - sprains, strains, and tears (43.9%); cuts and lacerations (11.1 %); and fractures (10.4%) - resulted in nearly 66% of injuries among drywall installers. The most frequently injured body part was the back, followed by the legs (10%). The leading types of incident were overexertion (23.1 %), fall to lower level (21.2%), bodily reaction (11.9%), struck by an object (12%), struck against an object (9.9%), and fall on the same level (9.8%). Overexertion and all types of falls accounted for 54% of traumatic injuries among drywall installers. Drywall installers seemed to be at high risk for overexertion and falls. Three sources of injury were responsible for 44.5% of the total injuries: floor of building (17%), drywall board (15.1%), and bodily motion or position of injured and/or ill worker (12.4%). An analysis of the median days away from work indicates that between 1992 and 1995, drywall installers had median days away from work of 8 to 10 days. Median days away from work for drywall installers were greater than median days away from work for construction workers and all industries combined. More than a fourth of the injuries of drywall installers involved at least 31 days away from work. To reduce traumatic injuries, future ergonomic studies are needed to help develop proper work procedures and/or assistive devices.
Construction; Construction-workers; Construction-materials; Construction-equipment; Construction-industry; Hazards; Health-hazards; Ergonomics; Exposure-assessment; Employee-exposure; Work-environment; Task-performance; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Information-retrieval-systems; Statistical-analysis; Lost-work-days; Back-injuries; Body-regions; Physical-capacity; Physical-stress; Physiological-response; Fall-protection; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Body-mechanics; Work-practices; Human-factors-engineering
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 20-25, 2000, Orlando, Florida