Drywall Installing Safety

Workers who handle drywall sheets are at high risk of overexertion and fall injuries. Drywall installers spend most of the day standing, bending, or stretching.  This work is physically demanding.  

NOTE: Before starting the job, the workers should know the weight of the drywall sheets that they will be using. This is heavy work so clear knowledge and preparation are critical to prevent injuries.

Prepare the Jobsite

  • Keep forklifts, hand trucks, carts, and dollies available to move the drywall to work locations.
  • Minimize the need to move the drywall sheets.  Have the drywall delivered as close as possible to the installation location.
  • Use best work practices that reduce the need for workers to install drywall by hand. Ensure that a drywall lift or jacks are available when working alone.
  • Use PVC-dot grip gloves to reduce the grip force needed to lift, carry, and hold drywall.

Installation Safety

  • Bend the knees instead of the back when lifting, holding or carrying drywall.
  • For vertical hanging, raise the sheet, shift grip to opposite sides of the sheet and then rotate the sheet into a vertical position and secure to the wall.
  • Use two workers to lift large, thick, and heavy sheets.
  • Lift only one sheet at a time.
  • Rotate hanging tasks and other installation tasks (taping, installing trim).
  • Schedule frequent breaks to reduce overexertion hazards.
  • Use drywall lift to place and hold a ceiling sheet.
  • Always retract knife when not in use.
  • Keep work area clear of debris.

Presenter tips

  • Pre-read the Toolbox Talk. Your comfort level and confidence will be higher if you know your topic.
  • Discuss related tasks, work areas or events that make the Toolbox Talk relevant to your job site.
  • Involve the workers by asking questions and input that drives discussion.

Questions for Discussion

  • What should be considered before starting any drywall installation?
  • Why is it important to bend knees when lifting drywall?