Ergonomics in the construction industry has come a long way, but there are still materials that present particular handling challenges. Large panels are among the most difficult to transport and install; there’s simply no easy way to grasp them.
At least with windows and other plates of glass, you can use a vacuum lift. Moving drywall is another story.
Even on today’s construction sites, you’ll often see workers carrying drywall or plywood overhead, even resting the load on their hardhats. That’s a surefire way to develop musculoskeletal injuries like tension neck syndrome, tendinitis, and bursitis. So what’s the solution?
Panel Carts for the Construction Industry
Sometimes, the simplest solutions are the best. Move panels as close to the installation site as possible before resorting to manual handling. The best way to do this is with a cart, but given the awkward dimensions of drywall, not just any cart will do.
- First of all, material handling carts for the construction industry have to be nearly unbreakable. A single sheet of half-inch thick 4′ by 12′ drywall weighs nearly 80 pounds. Multiply that by an entire room’s dimensions, and you’re looking at a backbreaking load.
- Ideally, drywall should be stacked sideways, like books on a shelf, rather than flat like a stack of pancakes. Horizontally stacked drywall requires workers to bend to pick up the sheetrock, which is a time-tested cause of lower back injuries.
That means a drywall cart should include high, reinforced sidewalls for panels to lean against.
- Most construction carts have hard steel decking. That could easily dent drywall, especially at the lip. Drywall carts need a soft deck, ideally with some way to slide panels out without damaging the edges.
- Panel carts have to be as maneuverable as possible. You might have to navigate through narrow hallways to reach every room, and your standard casters aren’t going to cut it.
As you might have guessed, we have a solution that meets all these criteria. Panel Carts from BHS make it easier and safer to transport construction panels, from drywall to cubicle partitions, virtually anywhere on the site.
A reinforced steel frame with scratch-resistant powder coating means that these carts can take serious punishment without damage. They also feature a carpeted deck; the edges of drywall will arrive at the installation site without cracks or dents, which is bound to be a first.
Panel Carts are easy to maneuver, even when they bear their maximum load of 1,000 pounds. The secret is a clever arrangement of heavy duty casters. Two of them swivel to navigate tight corners, while the other two are fixed, which makes it easy to maintain a straight line of travel.
Don’t wear out your back hauling panels by hand. Instead, simply push drywall wherever it needs to go. All you need is the right cart.
“Simple Solutions: Ergonomics for Construction Workers.“ CDC. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2007. PDF. 2 July 2016.
Stromme, Mark. “Construction Jobsite Safety: Handling Construction Materials.” ConstructionBusinessOwner. Cahaba Media Group, June 2010. Web. 2 July 2016.