A new report from specialist contractor Astins, in collaboration with FIS, Skanska, Knauf,and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), illustrates the positive impact and potential of using smaller and lighter 900mm wide plasterboard in place of the standard 1,200mm wide board.

The HSE had found that dry liners are particularly prone to Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs), largely due to manually handling 1,200mm wide plaster boards, often on their own. Astins was lead contractor on a pilot project, using a 900mm wide plasterboard, looking at addressing issues with heavy plasterboard.

The final report found a 33 per cent reduction in plasterboard waste; significant productivity improvements (62 per cent), especially during second fix; and shoulder muscle stress reduction of 30 per cent. The project also reported relatively equal overallCO2 emissions and an overall cost benefit.

FIS members can access the full report on the FIS website www.thefis.org .