Solution Summary: Standing Fastening Tool
A stand-up fastening tool, or power-actuated fastening tool with an extension shaft, is an engineering control that may help reduce musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) associated with squatting, stooping, and kneeling while installing flooring. It consist of a triggered tool with a long shaft that can be used to secure subflooring, false floors, and decking; to construct concrete forms; and to do other wood-to-wood jobs. This tool may be also applicable for drywall and some metal-to-metal work. Screws for these guns come on easy-loading, collated strips that are self-feeding.
Standing fastening tools load without requiring you to bend down. Some models have an extension that can be removed, allowing the screw gun to be used by itself for walls, such as the Quik Drive Auto Feed Systems (Figure 1) or the Senco Auto Feed Screwdrivers (Figure 2).
Figure 1. Quik Drive Auto-Feed System.
Figure 2. Senco Auto-Feed Screwdriver.
Some stand-up screw guns are all one unit, such as the Muro FDVL41 Speed Driver (Figure 3).
Figure 3. Muro FDVL41 Speed Driver.
A similar powder-actuated fastening tool with a stand-up extended handle can be used to fasten metal track to concrete decks for interior steel framing, to install plywood onto concrete as a substrate for wood floors, to attach lumber to concrete and masonry, and to make steel-to-steel connections. These provide a fast, efficient fastening method that can be used independent of weather conditions. They use a .27-caliber explosive charge to drive their fasteners. The fasteners are made from hardened steel and have a knurled shaft to anchor them securely in the base material. Pre-drilling holes is not necessary. The driving depth can be adjusted for varying jobsite conditions.
High compression forces occur in the spine while stooping, and sustained or repeated flexion of the spine may decrease the stability of the lower back. Decreased stability and higher compression forces can lead to injury and low back pain. Standing fastening tools allow the worker to keep a neutral position of the spine and knees and decrease the probability of injury.
How Risks are Reduced:
By standing while working, the spine and knees will remain in a neutral position, minimizing strain and muscle fatigue. Many stand-up tools have adjustable lengths to cater to the workers' different heights allowing more comfortable postures.
Biomechanical research shows that high compression forces occur in the spine while stooping, and that sustained or repeated flexion of the spine may decrease the stability of the lower back and increase the risk of fatigue, leaving the back more vulnerable to injury.
While there is considerable research shows that working in stooped, kneeling and squatting postures causes low back disorders, the research mostly focuses on those postures in combination with other risk factors such as bending or twisting or heavy loads. The literature combining stooped, squatting or kneeling postures with load handling shows rapid and severe spinal damage. There is much less in the literature regarding the health effects of these postures in an unloaded situation - that is, stooping without lifting.
However, safety and health experts believe that it is important to avoid prolonged and repeat forward bending of the back (stooping) even in the absence of the other risk factors for low back disorders.
Effects on Productivity:
Studies have shown that autofeed stand-up screw guns are about twice as fast at placing screws as traditional screw guns.
Extended handled tools are very effective for work at floor level, but may introduce awkward postures when used for waist level tasks where a standard tool without an extended handle would be more appropriate.
There are also drill bit extensions that can be used in a standard drill that are especially useful for overhead work such as drilling. Please see this solutions sheet, Drill Bit Extension, for more information.
Simpson Strong-Tie Quik Drive Auto-Feed System
To obtain information, visit www.quikdrive.com or contact 1-800-999-5099
Senco Auto-Feed Screwdriver
To obtain information, visit http://www.senco.com or contact 1-800-543-4596