Lightweight Drywall Panels

Lightweight drywall panels weigh less than standard panels used in residential and commercial construction.

Description:

The lightweight drywall panel is a product substitution that may reduce the amount of weight lifted during manual material handling and overhead work.  The lightweight drywall panel is manufactured to be lighter than traditional drywall panels without sacrificing the quality of the product.

Lightweight drywall panels are 20 – 25% lighter than regular panels of the same dimensions.  Depending on manufacturer and quantity ordered, panels of any size, within reason, can be ordered.  


Risks Addressed:

Installing drywall requires workers to lift and place drywall sheets that can weigh more than 50 lbs. Heavy lifting and carrying can cause low back disorders, such as muscle strain or a disc herniation (“slipped disc”), which is bulging of disc material possibly pressing on the spinal cord or nerves that go into the leg.  Lightweight drywall panels decrease the amount of weight lifted, which reduces the forces experienced by the low back and shoulders.


How Risks are Reduced:

Lightweight drywall panels may decrease loads that workers lift and carry during drywall installation tasks. 

Manufacturers state that lightweight drywall panels are easier to carry and install than regular drywall panels.  Lighter weight material reduces the amount of stress placed on the low back and shoulders.

Safety and health experts believe that lighter weight materials may help to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders of the low back and shoulder.  Lightweight drywall panels reduce the load carried when installing drywall panels.


Effects on Productivity:

Lightweight drywall panels will increase productivity by reducing worker fatigue as a result of decreased loads when carrying drywall panels. 


Contributors:

Dan Anton, PT, PhD, ATC; and Jonathan Braun, SPT – Eastern Washington University


Hazards Addressed:

Availability

American Gypsum Lightroc
To obtain information, visit www.americangypsum.com or contact 1-800-545-6302

Sheetrock Brand Ultralight Panels
To obtain information, visit www.usg.com or contact 1-800-950-3839

NIOSH Workplace Solutions Sheet
The National Institute of Safety and Health (NIOSH) has published a series of “Workplace Solutions”, which are easy-to-understand recommendations from NIOSH research results. Related to this Construction Solution, please find more information on: Preventing Injuries from Installing Drywall

Gold Bond High Strength Lite
To obtain information, visit www.nationalgypsum.com or contact 1-800-628-4662

CertainTeed Easy-Lite Lightweight Gypsum Board
To obtain information, visit www.certainteed.com or contact 1-800-233-8990

Georgia-Pacific Gypsum Toughrock Gypsum Board
To obtain information, visit www.gpgypsum.com or contact 1-800-225-6119

Return on Investment

To calculate the return on investment (ROI) for your specific application, please visit our Return on Investment Calculator. While a specific ROI example has not been developed for this particular solution, the ROI Calculator provides a useful tool and guidance on how to generate your own on investment analysis.