Solution Summary: Cabinet Jack
The cabinet jack is an engineering control that may help reduce heavy lifting, stooped postures, overhead work, and kneeling & squatting. Cabinet jacks hold materials, such as cabinets, at various heights for easy installation.
A cabinet jack uses a single, spring-locked telescoping pole.
FastCap® makes a group of jacks called the 3rd Hand Family. The Little Hand consist of a pole that telescopes from 16.5 inches to 23.5 inches and has a load capacity up to 150 pounds.
Figure 1. FastCap® Little Hand supporting cabinets with optional magnetic laser mount (Photo courtesy of FastCap, LLC.)
T-JAK® makes a family of cabinet jacks featuring a pole that telescopes 53 inches to 84 inches, depending on the model, quick lock, and fine adjustment/quick tilt knob. These jacks can hold up to 400 pounds, depending on the model. Available accessories include drywall support brackets, extensions in 1 to 3 foot lengths, bracket to support pipe, and a hard-sided carrying case.
Figure 2. T-JAK® used to support drywall. (Photo courtesy of T-JAK® Support Tools)
Heavy lifting and stooped postures 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. The cabinet jack can help reduce stooped postures by supporting items instead of requiring the user to adopt a stooped posture while holding the same item.
Overhead work 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 cabinet jack can help reduce overhead holding by supporting cabinets or drywall during installation.
Prolonged kneeling can cause MSDs such as prepatellar bursitis (housemaid’s knee), which is swelling on the front of the kneecap, and osteoarthritis of the knee (degenerative joint disease). The cabinet jack can help reduce prolonged kneeling by reducing the amount of time spent kneeling installing low items.
How Risks are Reduced:
A cabinet jack reduces heavy lifting and stooped postures, overhead work, and prolonged kneeling and squatting because it supports the material being installed, allowing easier installation and increasing the installer’s ability to take breaks during installation.
Safety and health experts believe cabinet jacks will help reduce exposure to heavy lifting and stooped postures, overhead work, and prolonged kneeling and squatting since the material is held in mounting position by the jack.
Effects on Productivity:
A cabinet jack may increase productivity by allowing one person to complete a task instead of two and may reduce installation mistakes caused by items slipping during attachment.
While cabinet jacks reduce several risks, improper use of the jacks could be harmful. It is critical to operate the jacks according to the manufacturers’ instructions.
Dan Anton, PT, PhD, ATC; Julianne Keenan, SPT; and Benjamin Tucker, SPT– Eastern Washington University