The effect of drywall lifting method on workers' balance in a laboratory-based simulation.
Pan-CS; Chiou-S; Hendricks-S
Occup Ergon 2003 Dec; 3(4):235-249
Voluntary body movement can import a perturbation to the postural stability/balance of a human body. Heavy manual material handling such as drywall lifting may increase this perturbation. The objective of this laboratory-based study was to quantify workers' postural stability while lifting drywall sheets through kinetic and kinematic analyses, and to identify the drywall lifting methods that caused the least perturbation on workers' balance. Sixty male construction workers participated in this study. A simulated drywall-lifting workstation was built and all subjects performed one of the four randomly assigned lifting methods. Kinetic and kinematic measurements were synchronized and collected using a piezoelectric force platform and a five-camera motion analysis system. Both center-of-pressure (COP) and center-of-mass (COM) data were analyzed to assess workers' postural stability. Univariate analyses and principal component analyses (PCA) were used to analyze 13 COP-based and 21 COM-based variables. Results from the univariate analyses and PCA significantly indicated that the three horizontal lifting methods created less perturbation than the vertical lifting method. Based on the results of this study and prior studies, it is concluded that horizontal lifting with both hands on top of the drywall appears to be the best work practice to reduce manual drywall handling hazards associated with fall potential and overexertion injuries.
Manual-lifting; Manual-materials-handling; Materials-handling; Materials-handling-equipment; Ergonomics; Construction; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Construction-materials
Disease and Injury: Traumatic Injuries