Solution Summary: Extension Poles for Powder-Actuated Tools
An extension pole for power-actuated tools is an engineering control that can reduce musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) from overhead work. It is a fixed height or modular extension pole attached to a powder-actuated tool.
You work with your arms above your shoulders, an awkward position that may cause sore muscles and joints. Sometimes you have to hold this diffcult position for a long time, or repeat the position over and over during your shift. This can cause fatigue and eventually lead to arm and shoulder problems like bursitis or rotator cuff tendonitis.
Example of an extended pole tool. (Photo courtesy of ITW Ramset)
Working with your arms above your shoulders is an awkward position that may cause sore muscles and joints, result in hand, arm and shoulder injuries, and lead to arm and shoulder problems like bursitis or rotator cuff tendonitis.
How Risks are Reduced:
Using an extension pole when using a powder-actuated tool for overhead work lets the worker keep a more neutral body posture and reduces the risk of injury because you no longer need to raise your arms above your shoulders and hold them there to work on the ceiling.
The extension lets you keep a more neutral body posture. Your arms are closer to your body and below your shoulders. This cuts down on the risk of injury to your shoulders, arms, and hands. There is also less recoil shock directed to your shoulders and neck. In addition, you can work on the ground rather than using a ladder, scaffold, or lift.
Effects on Productivity:
Productivity may improve when there is less setup time using the tool extension, because there are no are no ladders, scaffolds, or lifts needed.
Terrence Roach - CPWR The Center for Construction Research and Training