Drywall Stilts and Work Safety

May 22, 2018
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Murwall's plasterer have receive their training on the use and maintenance of stilts.   Stilts must be used with proper training and workers must complete practical experience in the use of stilts . Murwall's plasterers stilts are from a recognized industry manufacturer who is providing an instruction manual on their correct use that must be followed at all times.The stilts components are to be examined regularly for any worn components.They are to be stored,serviced and maintained in accordance with the manufacturers instructions.   The Risks When Using Stilt     The use of stilts by our plasterers to gain access to ceilings,high walls and other areas poses some risks but it is also safer than other methods like the use of small scaffold on wheels.Tripping over debris,materials or tools on the floor,or falling on a slipery surfaces.Falling over while entering a different level or going through doorways.Manual handling injuries can be caused by bending over or twisting from the stilts. The common causes of stilts injuries are trips and slips often lead to a fall and accounted for 53 % of all stilts injuries according to a study by the Ministry of Labor.
Trips are caused by card boards boxes,carpet edges,extensions cords,loose wires,power tool cords,scaffold wheels,drywall scrap,stack of wood,tool carts,framing materials and plastic floor coverings and laminated flooring.
Slips are caused by metal debris,wet drywall finishing compound,metal nuts,metal screws,water and oil.
Poor stilts maintenance is another leading cause of falls from stilts.
Examples of poor stilt maintenance that can lead to an injury include a broken or loose strap, a wingnut falling out of a stilt, a broken spring and a broken leg braket.
Overexertion of the body results in musculature injury and was the third leading cause of injuries. 
Overexertion injury can result from inherent stains that stilts place on the body:high stress on knees,legs,hips and back;the altered mechanics of walking and the altered standing posture.
Task required to complete the work also have an effect on the body;lifting heavy and awkward objects,working with the hands over the head,highly repetitive motions and applying high hand force.
Additional causes for stilts injuries include putting on/and taking off stilts,loss of balance,hitting ones head on fixtures ,door jamb,sprinkler and bending over picking up mud bucket,getting throught a door.

Keep it Clean   Housekeeping is paramount to preventing stilts injuries.Despite the pressure to get the job done,Mur-wall Inc will commit each day to prevent fall injuries.
We will identify and remove where possible objects that may result in a fall.Sweep the floor.
We carry brooms onto the site along with all our equipment and tools.
We train our workers to know that most items within their workspace are a potential trip or slip hazard.
We also train our workers to inspect their stilts each time they put them on.

We Should not used Stilts When;   We do not permit the use of stilts in stairs or near any unguarded open railings,windows or shafts.We do not permit our workers to use stilts when;The work site is not plaster ready.Fatigue is observed or experience.The stilts are poorly maintained or not from a recognized industry supplier.Lifting or supporting plaster sheets.Handling long heavy or cumbersome objects or items,such as decorative cornices .No walking on stairs and walking backwards or stepping into or over bathtubs.
Using inappropriate equipment such as trowel boxes,tool with power leads or hoses.

Work with Stilts When:   Only portable hand held tools such as a trowel,hammer,sanding block and cordless screw gun are to be used by our stilts workers.Stilts are only to be used for light duty task such as;Placing insulation batts Installing furring channels Screwing sheets to furring channels installing trusses and the undersides of floor joists and walls Patching,touching up and the taping and coating /skimming of joints and pole sanding.

Preparation   Prior to starting work,We must ensure that there is a safe means of attaching and removing stilts readily available.
A rigid platform should be used for mounting/dismounting stilts with the platform at a equal to a greater thean the height of the stilts.
Stepladders are not to be used for mounting/dismounting stilts.Stepping up and balancing on one stilt then bending to fit the second is also not acceptable.
All equipment and materials required by one of our stilt worker should be supported by a stand mobile or stationary that enables the worker to acces them without over reaching or bending down below knee level.
The height of the stand should be appropriate for the task being performed.Alternatively,tools and materials can be passed up to the stilt worker by another person standing on the floor .
It is prohibited to pick up items from below the knee level.Other workers cannot affect the immediate work area being used by a stilt worker,unless they are working as support for the stilt worker. The use of stilts by our drywall tapers can save a lot of time. www.mur-wall.com Cheers
Sylvio Giroux

Comments (1)

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  • No-avatar-62
    Wellst9511 months ago

    I recently finished making repairs at home. When I painted the ceiling, I had to use stilts. I made them myself from the boards. The paint fell on the floor, including on stilts. I never kept them clean, but I always wiped the floor in the room. At that time I was studying at a university and I often needed writing a research paper fast, so I had no time to keep a clean stilt. Now I have already graduated from the university and work with my brother at the construction site.

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