Image of roomDue to the often strained and awkward postures involved, manually handling of plasterboard sheets can result in serious and sometimes permanent musculoskeletal injuries.

USG Boral is a world leading manufacturer of building materials including plasterboard products across Australia, Asia and the Middle  East. The risks associated with manual handling plasterboard and customer feedback indicated the urgent need to develop lighter weight plasterboard. A lighter weight product would be easier to handle  than their  standard plasterboard and would help decrease injury risks while  also helping to improve productivity.

USG Boral was an active industry partner in the Manual Handling of Plasterboard campaign led by Workplace Health  and Safety Queensland. This campaign aimed  to identify safe design solutions to reduce injuries  associated with manual  tasks across the supply chain. USG Boral actively promoted the campaign with Boral stakeholders and shared the campaign guidance material with their industry partners in the USA during the development of the lightweight product.

USG Boral installed and commissioned innovative manufacturing technology to create a new, lighter plasterboard range for walls and ceilings combining existing proprietary formulations and processes with new patented technologies.

This process involved researching the market, commissioning the latest technology and conducting extensive installation trials with plasterboard installation contractors prior to market launch.

The new range  of plasterboard they developed in Australia (and in Asia) is 15 per cent lighter than standard USG Boral plasterboards for both ceilings and walls in the residential and commercial construction markets.

Feedback from plasterboard contractors, carters and installers indicates that the new boards are easier to handle  and may lead to a wide range of business benefits including higher productivity and less fatigue.

“They finished the project a half day earlier than planned…” “So much lighter and easier to carry  and so much easier to work with.”

“The order also weighed about half a tonne less than usual. We may have paid slightly more for the board but I think we saved about $300 in freight alone.”

USG Boral will continue to work with its customers to refine  and improve its range  of plasterboard as well as developing other innovative building products.

For further information visit the Workplace Healthand Safety Queensland website or call 1300 369 915.

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