Analysis of biomechanical stresses during drywall lifting.
Int J Ind Ergon 1999 Mar; 23(5-6):505-511
Constant lifting of massive and bulky drywall sheets creates overexertion hazards among drywall installers. The objective of this study was to gain understanding of the biomechanical stresses imposed on the workers while lifting drywall sheets. A video analysis was performed to identify current drywall lifting techniques. Computer simulations of these techniques for lifting drywall sheets of 60, 80, and 100 lb were then conducted to estimate the biomechanical loadings on the workers. Four lifting methods were determined to be the most commonly used drywall lifting techniques. The University of Michigan Three-Dimensional Static Strength Prediction Program (3DSSPPTM) was used for the simulations. It was found that all four lifting techniques produced considerable biomechanical stresses at the workers' shoulders, torsos, and hips. Only a limited percentage of the male population has sufficient strength capability to perform the task. The estimated L5/S1 and L4/L5 disc compression forces were consistently high, ranging from 655 to 1363 lb for various loads and postures analyzed. Results from this study provided evidence regarding the biomechanical stresses associated with drywall lifting. Further studies are recommended to identify less stressful drywall lifting methods and to develop safe assistive devices to reduce overexertion injuries.
Biomechanics; Hazards; Health-hazards; Injuries; Demographic-characteristics; Sex-factors; Traumatic-injuries; Materials-handling; Manual-lifting; Manual-materials-handling
Division of Safety Research, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1095 Willowdale Rd., Morgantown, WV 26505, USA
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics