7 Important Drywall Insulation Safety Tips
1. Avoid Dust
Drywall installation involves cutting and sawing the drywall and this leads to a very dusty environment. This dust irritates your respiratory system and you should, therefore, cover your nose and mouth with dust masks or respirators while working. You should also cover items in the house to prevent a coat of dust.
2. Wear Protective Gear
Wear proper protective gear. Other than dust masks, you should also wear safety goggles, protective leather work boots, hard-hat and gloves. The clothing should have long sleeves and it should not be too loose. Avoid hanging necklaces and loose bangles, especially when using power tools.
3. Maintain A Clean Environment
The working area should be clean before, during, and after the job. Accumulation of clutter and dust could hide dangerous objects.
4. Use The Right Drywall Materials And Tools
The drywall tools you use (razor knives, drywall (putty) knives, outlet markers, drill attachments, circle cutters and others) should be of the highest standard to prevent injury. You should be mindful of your safety and that of others when using these tools, especially power tools and ladders. Consider the weight, comfort, grip, noise and vibration levels, and ease of triggering when buying power tools. Four-finger triggers are the best for drywall installation.
You should only buy expert-recommended drywall materials (drywall sheets, tapes, screws, and mud). Ensure the framing lumber has a low moisture content as this prevents loosening of the screws. The drywall board should be fire-rated from 1 to 4 hours.
5. Take Care Of Your Body
Installing a drywall is labor intensive. So, how do you avoid injury?
- Reduce small injuries to your joints and muscles by avoiding forceful repeated motions like sanding, lifting, cutting, and taping. Rotate jobs to give your muscles and joints time to recover.
- When setting up a load, ensure it is close to waist height. The load should be as close to your body as possible when carrying, lifting, and putting down. Do not twist your back when performing these activities.
- Avoid reaching overhead when holding the drywall in place as this can cause joint, neck, muscle, shoulder, hand, and back injuries. Use board hanger clamps and t-jacks to hold the drywall in place when nailing.
- Consider using a drywall cart when moving items around.
- Invest in drywall handles to make the lifting less awkward and to improve your grip.
- Take short breaks (about 15 seconds each) several times to prevent injuries and fatigue and stay hydrated.
6. Work In Pairs
Working in pairs is a good idea because drywalls are awkward to handle and heavy. This also means you will have an extra pair of eyes looking after you, and vice versa.
7. Be Extra Careful When Doing Demolition
It is particularly important that you be careful during the demolition process. Take care to avoid electric shock, water pipes, gas lines, and other fixtures. Do not remove walls that are load barring. Block off the ducts and shut off the furnace when doing demolition. This will not only be safer for the workers but also prevent your ducts saving you air conditioner repair and furnace repair headache.
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