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Handling drywall safely

December 20, 2013

Handling and hanging drywall sheets can result in serious injuries for workers if proper precautions are not taken. NIOSH notes that workers who handle drywall sheets have a high risk of overexertion and fall injuries. Because drywall sheets are heavy, injuries can include strains, sprains, tears and back pain. Additionally, installers and carpenters can suffer falls as a result of losing their balance when carrying, lifting or holding drywall sheets.

Tips NIOSH recommends before beginning drywall work include:

  • Know the weight of the drywall sheets that will be used, and plan accordingly.
  • Have forklifts, hand trucks or dollies available for moving drywall easily.
  • Ensure stored materials do not create tripping hazards.
  • Reduce the need for workers to install drywall by hand, including having a drywall lift or drywall jacks available when working alone, installing larger or heavier sheets, or installing ceilings.

Once work begins, NIOSH advises the following:

  • Ensure workers practice proper lifting and installation techniques.