Solution Summary: Drill Bit Extension
The drill bit extension is an engineering control that can help reduce musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) due to overhead work. Drill bit extensions can be attached to a standard drill or screw gun allowing a worker to hold the tool below the shoulder and closer to the waist. This reduces force at the shoulder and minimizes strain of the arms when drilling overhead.
Greenlee manufactures several sizes and lengths of drill bit extensions meant for various applications (Figure 2).
Figure 2. Greenlee drill bit extension.
Irwin Tools manufactures several drill bit extensions, including an 18" extension for auger bits (Figure 3).
Figure 3. Irwin 18" auger bit extension.
Milwaukee manufacturers several sizes and lengths of drill bit extensions (Figure 4).
Figure 4. Milwaukee drill bit extension
Overhead drilling can cause musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) such as shoulder muscle strains; tendonitis, which is inflammation of the tendons; or rotator cuff tears, which is a rupture of a shoulder tendon. The drill bit extension can help reduce overhead work by allowing the hands to be near the waist and the arms next to the body while drilling overhead.
How Risks are Reduced:
Effects on Productivity:
Dan Anton, PT, PhD, ATC, Cassie Malecha, DPT, and Neil Morris, SPT – Eastern Washington University