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Assessment of fall potential associated with drywall lifting.
Chiou S; Pan CS; Zwiener JZ; Long D; Cantis D
Advances in Occupational Ergonomics and Safety: XVth Annual Conference of the International Society for Occupational Ergonomics and Safety, Fairfax, Virgina, June 4 - 7, 2001. AC Bittner Jr, PC Champney, SJ Morrissey, eds. Washington, DC: IOS Press, 2001 Jan; 4:55-61
Drywall installers are at high risks for occupational fall injuries according to data obtained from Bureau of Labor Statistics. Handling bulky and massive drywall sheets not only exposes the workers to ergonomics risks of forceful exertion and awkward postures, but also places excessive demands on workers' postural balance. Lifting heavy drywall sheets is likely to shift the body's center of mass (COM) away from the center of base of support, thereby increasing the probability of fall. This study was performed to investigate the effect of different lifting methods on the motion of the whole body's COM. Motion data were collected with a set of 22 markers to compute the kinematics of the whole body's COM. Two methods - horizontal lift of drywall with both hands positioned on the bottom of the drywall and horizontal lift of drywall with one hand positioned on the top and one hand on the bottom of drywall, resulted in greater and faster COM motion than other lifting methods. Results from this study indicate that lifting a drywall sheet using these two methods places greater demands on dynamic balance control than other methods. Future studies are needed to examine the COM motion in relation to the base of support and moment patterns at ankle, knee, and hip while lifting drywall, to provide further insights on the postural balance mechanism during drywall lifting.
Construction-industry; Construction-materials; Construction-workers; Manual-lifting; Manual-materials-handling; Materials-handling; Ergonomics
Division of Safety Research, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1095 Willowdale Rd., Morgantown, WV 26505
Bittner AC Jr.; Champney PC; Morrissey SJ
Advances in Occupational Ergonomics and Safety: XVth Annual Conference of the International Society for Occupational Ergonomics and Safety, Fairfax, Virgina, June 4 - 7, 2001
Page last reviewed: July 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division