How To Carry Plasterboard Safely
Plasterboard, if not carried properly can cause severe back injury. Especially when you have 2 people trying to carry the sheet in a different way. This causes the sheet to twist causing damage to your lower back.
When 2 people are carrying a sheet both of you should be about the same distance in from the end of the sheet to distribute the weight evenly. The longer the sheet the further in toward the center of the sheet you both should be.
You should both stand facing the sheet and using both hands pick the sheet straight up as high as you can reach, in the same movement drop the carrying hand to the underside of the sheet and turn to face the direction you intend to walk.
The sheet should lean against your shoulder. With most sheet sizes the non-carrying hand can be at your side taking no part. With longer sheets the non-carrying hand can be used to steady the balance of the sheet. NOTE, do not let this hand pull the sheet into your shoulder as this can cause twisting, resulting in damage to your partners back.
A common fault is to try and carry the sheet standing right at the very end, with the end of the sheet in front of you. This method is very unstable and dangerous to your back.
When carrying a sheet on your own large sheets can be safely carried under your arm for short distances. Move to the center of the sheet and face the direction you want to go. Bending at the knees squat until your hand is on the top of the sheet and the sheet is tucked under your arm. Take the top of the sheet with your other hand and stand up and walk.
Smaller sheets on your own can be picked up form the center as you would with 2 people but extend your non-carrying hand out toward the direction you are going and grip the bottom edge of the sheet. The weight should be on the carrying hand and the leading hand just used to steady the sheet. You will be surprised at the length of sheet you can carry using this method.