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Ergonomic walkthrough evaluations of a pre-manufactured-home-fabrication plant.

Zwiener JV; Pan CS; Chiou SS; Kau TY; Mozingo K
NOIRS 2003-Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2003, October 28-30, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh, PA: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2003 Oct; :75
Drywall workers who perform work on pre-manufactured homes have an increased risk of injury due to the highly repetitive nature and prolonged duration of their work tasks. The objective of this study was to examine the risk factors involved with drywall installation in a pre-manufactured home fabrication plant; and further, to determine possible interventions to reduce those risks. Eleven drywall workers (7 installers and 4 finishers; mean age = 35 +/- 13 years) with working experience (mean experience = 11 +/- 10 years) participated in this study. Each drywall worker was observed and videotaped for three hours. Two raters reviewed the tapes using a carpentry ergonomic checklist (Bhattacharya, 1997). This checklist was designed to provide a workplace assessment for three major ergonomic risks - posture, repetition, and slip/fall hazards. Postures of six body segments and tool uses were given scores of 1 to 5 based on a weighting system where biomechanical loading is associated with different postures (Bhattacharya, 1997). A score of 1 represented a neutral posture whereas; a score of 5 represented an awkward posture. Repetition scores for three body segments were calculated by multiplying the frequency by the assigned weighting factor for each posture. Analyses of variance showed that repetition in the upper extremities was a problem when taping, applying joint compound, and sanding for finishers. For installers, repetition of tasks (measuring and cutting, carrying, and securing drywall) showed problems in all three body regions- torso, lower extremities, and upper extremities/wrist. Findings of this study indicate that higher repetition result in severe ergonomic risks for the pre-manufactured home fabrication workforce. The daily activities of drywall workers that lead to the repetitive nature of the job need to be rectified by frequent work breaks, or through task rotation, and change in order to reduce the risk of injury.
Ergonomics; Workers; Risk-factors; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Demographic-characteristics; Age-factors; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-hazards; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Arm-injuries; Posture
Publication Date
Document Type
Abstract; Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Disease and Injury: Traumatic Injuries
Source Name
NOIRS 2003-Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2003, October 28-30, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division