Plasterboards can be heavy and awkward to handle safely. For those undertaking plastering activities musculoskeletal injuries and disorders resulting from manual handling are extremely common.
To help reduce the workplace risk and injuries associated with handling plasterboard Work Health and Safety Queensland developed the Manual Handling of Plasterboard campaign (the Campaign). This collaborative approach with the industry aimed to identify safer design solutions to reduce manual task related injuries.
The Campaign promoted an interest in the safer handling of plasterboard, encouraging builders to work with plasterboard contractors, suppliers and materials handling companies to manage the manual task risks.
The Townsville Hospital redevelopment project is a good example of how industry is managing plasterboard handling risks. At this site, North West Commercial Industries Queensland implemented the use of:
- powered mechanical aids and trolleys
- smaller sheets, and
- a panel lifting system with a plasterboard attachment.
In addition to improved work health and safety outcomes, North West Commercial Industries Queensland reported a 25 to 30 per cent increase in productivity as a result of these initiatives.
The Campaign improvements to the safe handling of plasterboard continue to be adopted by industry as Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and plasterboard contractors, suppliers and materials handling companies work together to manage the manual tasks risks associated with this product.
For more information about the Manual Handling of Plasterboard campaign visit the Worksafe Queensland website