Ergonomics for Drywall Finishers

Best practices, stories


Ergonomics Awareness for Drywall Finishers training describes: (1) what the word “ergonomic” means; (2) types of ergonomic injuries (e.g., carpal tunnel syndrome) that occur to drywall finishers; (2) Risk factors for ergonomic injuries (e.g. awkward postures, improper tool use); (3) prevention of ergonomic injuries in drywall finishing (e.g., reducing repetitive activities by switching hands); (4) solutions to ergonomic problems (e.g., new tools such as knives with different degrees of flexibility).  The training also features very brief movies of drywall finishers who describe their ergonomic injuries, and of occupational physician Dr. Gary Rischitelli describing musculoskeletal disorders and emphasizing the importance of prevention. The training was developed by content specialist John Kirkpatrick, then of the IUPAT District Council #5.  The work is a product of Dr. Kent Anger’s laboratory.

Evidence Base
This training was pilot tested in 7 drywall finishers; knowledge data and observations of work practices were collected before and after training.  Knowledge improved (p=0.008) pre to post training; effect size d=1.55.  Observed safer behaviors (p < 0.05 or better) were seen after the training: Use of more flexible tools (d = 2.0), use of cushioned tools (d = 1.52), moving materials with equipment (d = 0.75), low stress materials (d = 1.09), no hazards in work area (d = 2.12), stretch and flex before work (d = 1.04) .  These results are not published.

Record of Results
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